According to a recent statistic, 338 LGBT people were murdered in Brazil in 2012, an average of one death for every 26 hours. The Gay Group of Bahia (GGB), an LGBT Rights advocacy organization, has been compiling data for the last 30 years on LGBT deaths in Brazil.
Last year’s report was broken down to reveal that of the murders reported, 188 were gay men, 128 transsexuals, 19 lesbians and two bisexuals. Of these cases, only 89 out of the 338 deaths resulted in the conviction of an individual responsible for the homicide. The rest, 73 percent of the cases, resulted in acquittals or no arrest.
The statistic is up 21% since 2011 when 266 deaths were reported. Homophobia remains an issue, and the vast majority of hate crimes go unreported. The GBB reports that even their statistics are likely underrepresented because of closeted gay individuals or a lack of transparency in murder cases.
Transgender deaths are a particular problem in the country, as transpeople are disproportionately killed each year. GGB reports that a transperson is brutally killed every two days. Part of the issue stems from a labor market largely closed to transpeople because of cultural norms related to class and religious distinctions, leaving transpeople statistically more likely to work as prostitutes.
And among the hate crimes in Brazil, it is believed that Brazil’s police is responsible for a majority of those committed.
Brazilian activists are calling for better protections of LGBT people. In 2012 the GGB reported that 77 percent of Brazilians want to see the adoption of an Anti-Homophobia law. The gay pride parade in Sao Paulo is considered the biggest in the world with 3.2 million people attending last year. With the World Cup and the Summer Olympics shedding the spotlight on Brazil, many hope to see radical social and economic changes in the coming years.