Latin American network of gay activists condemns massacre at Orlando Pulse Bar

GayLatino, the network of gay activists across Latin America, condemns the massacre at the “Pulse Orlando” gay bar in Florida, USA, and stands in solidarity with the families of the victims and the LGBTIQ community in the region.

The “Pulse” bar in Orlando, an evening pub frequented by the local LGBTIQ community, became the site of the worst terrorist attack on American soil after the fall of the Twin Towers in New York.

So far, official figures indicate that 50 people died and 53 others were injured, after a person - for reasons that are still trying to confirm - opened fire on people inside the bar.

“We demand that the US Government authorities make themselves available and provide as much assistance as possible to those who are investigating this terrible tragedy,” said Esteban Paulón, a member of the Executive Committee of the Latino Gay Network. “Our solidarity and our thoughts are with the families of the victims, and with the entire LGBTIQ community in Orlando. It is time to honor those who died and also to demand that world leaders take action. They are massacring us. These acts of hate can not continue, “he concluded.

For his part, Simón Cazal, Secretary General of GayLatino stressed that this type of facts are not isolated. “A few weeks ago, several people were murdered inside a gay bar in the City of Xalapa, Mexico. In the City of Mar del Plata, Argentina, neo-Nazi groups trashed the bar of a gay activist, who was then beaten brutally. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans frequencies are daily targets of homophobic threats and attacks on their facilities, “he said.

This attack is also part of the beginning of the month of pride in the world.

“Violence under the pretext of sexual orientation, identity and / or gender expression of people often ends with death and always generates much suffering. And even more must be alarmed that in this moment of mourning in the media and social networks continue to find the always present homophobic comments, “said Cazal. “The only definitive and long-term way to end violence is to educate and build societies that learn to enrich themselves with diversity, which includes determined actions of States in and within the framework of the International Community to guarantee the full exercise and equal rights to all LGBTIQ people, “he concluded.

Finally, Carlos García de León, member of the Gay Latino Executive Committee, emphasized: “Religious extremism has identified the LGBTIQ community as one of its enemies, putting millions of people at risk just for being who they are. It is the responsibility of States to ensure the integrity of their citizens regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We need local, national and international agreements that protect gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans from violence and hate crimes, not forgetting that police repression and institutional violence are also responsible for the violence suffered by our community. “

Deaths from gun violence have already caused 5800 deaths in the United States so far in 2016. Gay Latino joins calls by US organizations to regulate the use of firearms in that country and decrease as well as the deaths caused by this epidemic of gun violence.

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