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Mexico: LGBT activist killed in homophobic attack

, Index number: AMR 41/028/2011

Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera, leading LGBT activist in Guerrero has been killed in what appears to have been a homophobic attack. Other members of the gay pride organization he worked with and other LGBT activists may be at risk of attack.

UA: 137/11 Index: AMR 41/028/2011 Mexico Date: 12 May 2011
URGENT ACTION
LGBT ACTIVIST KILLED IN HOMOPHOBIC ATTACK
Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera, leading LGBT activist in Guerrero has been killed in what appears to
have been a homophobic attack. Other members of the gay pride organization he worked with
and other LGBT activists may be at risk of attack.
On 4 May, Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera, Director of the Centre for Study and Projects on Integrated Human
Development (Centro de Estudios y Proyectos para el Desarrollo Humano Integral, CEPRODEHI), was attacked and
killed in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero State, southern Mexico by unknown assailants. Quetzalcoatl Leija
Herrera was apparently walking home after spending the evening socializing.
Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera was an outspoken advocate of LGBT rights. He and his colleagues organized an annual
Gay Pride and diversity march in Chilancingo every June. He and other CEPRODHEI staff had received death threats
via the telephone in previous years warning them not to hold the march. CEPRODHEI had filed complaints with the
authorities and police had provided protection to them during the marches. The circumstances of his killing remain
to be clarified but Amnesty International is concerned that it may be related to his work at CEPRODHEI and as an
outspoken advocate of gay rights.
Guerrero state police are investigating the killing and have reportedly held a friend from the LGBT community, who
was the last person to see Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera alive, in custody for two days. He has since been released.
Other members of the LGBT community have also been sought for questioning, including previous partners of
Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera. While it is vital for the authorities to follow all leads, similar cases which have occurred
in other parts of Mexico have sometimes resulted in police and prosecutors focusing solely on the personal relations
of the victim rather than investigating possible homophobic motives for the attack.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Spanish or your own language:
Condemn the killing of Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera on 4 May and call for other members of CEPRODEHI and
LGBT rights activists in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state to receive protection in accordance with their wishes;
Call for a full, impartial and prompt investigation of Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera’s killing and for all leads
suggesting a homophobic motive to the attack to be fully investigated;
Call for the authorities to support and provide protection to the organizers of the Gay Pride march due to take
place in memory of Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera in June 2011.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 26 JUNE TO:
Guerrero state Governor
Lic. Ángel Heladio Aguirre Rivero
Palacio de Gobierno
Edificio Centro 2do. Piso
Col. Ciudad de los Servicios
C.P. 39074 Chilpancingo, Guerrero
México
Fax: 0052 747 4719956
Email:secretariaparticulargb@guerre
ro.gob.mx
Guerrero State Attorney General
Lcdo. Alberto Lopez Rosas
Guerrero State Attorney General
René Juárez Cisneros 62 El
Potrerito
39100 Chilpancingo
Guerrero, Mexico
Fax: 0052 747 4942981
Salutation: Dear Attorney General
Copies to:
Centre for Study and Projects on
Integrated Human Development
(CEPRODEHI)
Email:
ceprodehi_ac@yahoo.com.mx
Saluation: Dear Governor
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above
date.
Date: 12 May 2011
URGENT ACTION
LGBT ACTIVIST KILLED IN HOMOPHOBIC ATTACK
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
LGBT people and activists continue to be the target of attacks and intimidation in Mexico, particularly outside Mexico City.
Impunity for these crimes remains common and steps taken by many authorities, particularly outside major urban areas, is
extremely limited to protect against homophobia and make anti-discrimination legislation effective.
UA: 137/11 Index: AMR 41/028/2011 Issue Date: 12 May 2011

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