THE BLOG
06/12/2013 12:16 GMT | Updated 05/02/2014 05:59 GMT

Peru Gay Man Tortured, Dismembered and Burned to Death

A 19 year-old gay man was brutally, tortured and murdered in Peru, reveals a report that has surfaced earlier this week.

Police analysis reveals that Joel Sanchez Molero was tortured, beheaded and had his genitals, fingers and toes cut off and his body was then set on fire.

The attack occurred in the remote town of Chachapoyas, deep in the Peruvian Amazon region on 22 November, but was published in the local press only earlier this week.

This hate crime has shocked Peru's public, since the charred remains of Molero's body were found with police reporting signs of the young man having been tortured and then dismembered.

Gio Infante, director of the Homosexual Movement of Lima (MHOL), explained in a press release the brutal details of the event, "the young man was beheaded, with his genitals, toes and fingers chopped off [in order to avoid any attempt at identification], and then his body was set on fire."

Despite the body being unrecognizable, police identified the victim as Molero due to a wristband on his right hand.

Molero's last living moments were captured by a security TV of the nightclub exposing that he was approached by Jorge Luis Sánchez Dávila, who then left the club with the victim around 03:00am.

Dávila has surrendered himself to the police, now seeking his accomplices to the murder; arrest warrants have been issued.

Dávila has been reported as having said he committed the brutal murder in "self defence."

During his funeral, hundreds of people joined the procession demanding justice.

Hate crimes against LGBT people are a widespread problem in Peru, reveal reports of several human rights organizations.

Earlier this year, in the same region, a father set his son on fire for being gay.

In 2009, also in the vicinity, men belonging neighbourhood watch groups captured a transgender sex worker and a client having them stripped, their hair shorn off, beaten and humiliated in public.

The rights organization, Promsex, documented, 12 cases of LGBT people being murdered in 2012 and 17 in 2011.

MHOL also produced a report based on media news and interviews, revealing that a total of 249 LGBT people have been murdered from 2006 to 2010.

But many attacks go unreported and these numbers are thought to largely understate the real figures.

According Infante, "every week an LGBT person is murdered in Peru, victims of homophobic and transphobic hate.

"These crimes often go unpunished because the victims' families are afraid or ashamed to report them, and due the apathy of the institutions responsible for the administration of justice.

Infante said the government must take action and that there can be "not even one single more murder."

Earlier this year, Peruvian lawmakers excluded LGBT people from a bill against discrimination and hate crimes.

The bill that would have criminalized and severely punish hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity had been stalled since 2010.

Its sponsor and author Congressman Carlos Bruce blamed the powerful religious lobbies in the country, particularly the evangelical Churches for blocking this legislation.

Last year the United Nations Human Rights Committee recommended that Peru introduces such a legislation, therefore this decision of the Congress has been described as a "major setback to human rights", lawmaker Verónika Mendoza, of Peru's ruling party.

Manuel Narváez Quispe, of the Amazonian LGBT Association Chacha Libre said: "Not only demand justice for Joel: we demand a stop to hate crimes."

"Schools should promote human rights and respect for all people, and the government must combat homophobic violence through awareness campaigns, and apply laws to guarantee our fundamental right to life."

The case has also been widely reported on twitter with users demanding justice for Joel under the hashtag #JusticiaParaJoelMolero.