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November 18, 2009

Where’s the coverage? Where’s the outrage?

by at 7:40 am.

A friend who lives in Lowell sent me this link to a LGBT blog towleroad . This past weekend in Puerto Rico a 19-year-old gay man, Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado was murdered, his body was partially burned, his head decapitated and his limb dismembered. The story was disturbing on many levels.

In addition to the brutality of this hate crime, I found it disturbing that this story did not make the mainstream media. After I received the e-mail from my friend, I went on line and searched. Yes, you could find the story on some web sites, such as CNN, but I had to search for it.

Have we become desensitized to these types of crime? Is Puerto Rico too far away from the mainland for us not be concerned?

10 Responses to “Where’s the coverage? Where’s the outrage?”

  1. Baer Says:

    I believe the news media only accepts human interest stories from foreign countries if the subject is adorable. “Hate crimes” are only interesting if the accused is a celebrity or connected to a celebrity.

    A gay male in Puerto Rico? Um, no. Try running this with a cute blonde female and I think you’ll find the coverage you hope for.

  2. Mirán Says:

    As someone else put it, if you’re a blonde blue-eyed young girl that goes missing in Aruba for 24 hours, you’re font page material. If you’re a young gay man that is bludgeoned to death, you’re lucky if anyone is told.

    According to a police official leading this investigation “…people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen…” What happened to the Hate Crime legislation? Where is the outrage?!? Did the local paper even cover this? Where are the candle-light vigiles? My family would like be there to show that this is intolerable.

  3. vero_v Says:

    Thank you for posting about this horrible, disgusting crime. I’m from the island and was amazed at the lack of attention the US paid to such a hideous, hate crime. According to endi.com, one of Puerto Rico’s leading newspapers, the killer was supposedly on the lookout for prostitutes when he found Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado. Apparently, the victim was dressed as a woman and when the driver found out, Lopez asked for money. He was then stabbed through the neck and you know the rest of the story: decapitated, dismembered, and partially burned. Juan A. Martinez, the suspect, justified his act by saying he had been raped while in prison for domestic violence (uhm, yeah- wife beater too?). Some people went as far as defending the murderer because of the circumstances and details of the story. It infuriates me. NOTHING justifies such a deplorable act, nothing!

  4. The Mark Says:

    Mimi,

    Not trying to be a wise ass or start a fight but how do we know it was a hate crime? Heinous? Yup. Horrific? Yeah. But just beacuse it’s a brutal murder and involves a gay or a minority does not make it a hate crime. I think the media is very quick to attach the “hate crime” label on something now for sensational reasons. How do you know the suspect isn’t a former lover? Who was about to be outed? See we don’t know. Brutal murders happen all the time especially of the victim and the suspect have an intimate past. Were Jeffrey Dahmer’s murders hate crimes? Or was he just a sicko? There are a whole list of things to be outraged about right now and sadly you can add this murder to the list.

  5. Lynne Says:

    I dunno, how many people short of serial killers behead someone? Seems to me to be a pretty hateful crime. Generally speaking, that level of violence against someone usually means either the person in question was severely mentally unstable (ie sociopath who shouldn’t be wandering the street) or one of blind rage, which often accompanies the sort of hate that hate crimes legislation tries to address.

    You can’t tell me the average robber or murderer even does the things this guy did. Yeesh.

  6. The Mark Says:

    Nope. I didn’t say that at all. But we don’t know the mental stability of the accused (and be real there are plenty of unstable people walking the streets) or yeah blind rage and that can and does happen in a crime of passion look at the former reality show guy who killed his wife- cut off her hands and pulled her teeth etc. Was that a Hate crime?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Jasmine_Fiore

    See what I mean. Just because a gay or minority is killed or beat up doesn’t automatically make it a hate crime. That’s my point.

  7. Lynne Says:

    Yeah but 9.9 times out of ten, Mark, it has everything to do with it.

  8. The Mark Says:

    How can you prove that?

  9. Mimi Says:

    The Mark:

    You a wise a**! Never ;-)

    As for my comment that this was a “hate crime,” I may have jumped the gun but since the authorities are weighing whether to charge the murderer with a federal hate crime charge, I think I am in good company.

  10. fishydude Says:

    There is no such thing as a “hate crime” just as there are no “love crimes.”
    Hate crime laws are unconstitutional because they elevate one class of victims over another and base punishment on the thoughts attributed to a criminal. And on top of that, we have an Attorney General who explicitly stated that federal so-called hate crimes law would not apply when when the victim is a white male and the criminal is a member of a protected class.
    A prime example is the case in Denver where black gangs were targeting white and Hispanic men because of their race. http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13835315
    Hate crime laws have been used to put people at risk of property and freedom over mere words. While others whose words resulted in the death of innocents and the destruction of property are given a free pass because of the color of their skin.
    And, by the way, Puerto Rico is not a foreign country. Puero Ricans are US citizens.

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