The badly burned body of a gay homeless man was discovered in Brazil, increasingly one of the most dangerous places on the planet for LGBT people.
Firefighters discovered the charred corpse of the man, known only as Alexandre, who had been asleep in his shanty in an empty parking lot in Sao Paolo’s Jardim Marina neighborhood. Acquaintances said he often sold cloth at the handicraft market in Vera Cruz.
“He was very friendly and considerate,” teacher Jorge Morais told Telesur. “It’s not the first time this happened. They set him on fire about two months ago.”
But Police Superintendent Ruy de Mattos says there’s no evidence the fire was deliberate or related to Alexandre’s sexuality.
“We’re interviewing some witnesses and can only make a determination after the investigation,” said Mattos. “We need witnesses who can tell us what happened in order to confirm the motivations.”
Brazil passed marriage equality in 2013, and Sao Paulo is home to the world’s largest Pride celebration. But more than 40% of all anti-LGBT violence in the world occurs there: On average, at least one person has been killed every day this year in a homophobic or transphobic attack.