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Protests over the murder of Samuel Luiz in July. Photo: Javier Barbancho/Reuters.

Homophobic attack hits central Madrid in broad daylight

The latest homophobic attack in Malasaña, Madrid, has sounded more alarm bells in the city's LGBTQ+ community.

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May 27th, 2022

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On Sunday, Sept. 5, a 20-year-old man was walking home in the center of Madrid when he was assaulted by eight hooded men.

Shouting "disgusting" and "shit eater," the young man was brutally beaten, his pants were pulled down and a derogatory word was branded on his buttocks with a razor. After the brutal aggression and a major increase in violent attacks towards the LGBTQ+ community, organized collectives have called for protests in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities in Spain. 

According to the local police, after receiving the complaint, an investigation was launched to identify the perpetrators of the attack. Security camera footage is currently being reviewed. 

The victim was also able to give a statement, and said he was about to enter the doorway of his house in the Madrid neighborhood of Malasaña at around 5:00 p.m. when a group of eight hooded people wearing black sweatshirts intercepted him. 

After insulting him, beating him and cutting his lip, they branded his buttocks with a razor. Despite the victim's testimony, the National Police say "it is not confirmed" whether what happened was a hate crime.

While a survey conducted by the British firm YouGov concluded that Spain is a leader in supporting family or friends of the LGBTQ+ community when they come out and a leader in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, homophobic attacks in recent months have shown just the opposite and set off alarm bells. 

A large part of the movements defending the rights of the LGBTQ+ community criticize right-wing organizations and political parties with discourses that endorse or legitimize violent actions.  

"There is a part of the population that has recognized in this political discourse, a legitimization to validate their prejudices and to take action." 

As noted by the France24, only in Barcelona there were 103 events related to "LGBTQ-phobia" from January to June 2021.

The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, condemned the attack suffered by the 20-year-old in Madrid. Similarly, Spain's Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, expressed remorse for what happened.

"We cannot tolerate as a society that you are murdered by shouting 'faggot' or that they put you in a doorway to beat you up because of your sexual orientation," she said in a statement to the local press.

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