Cuba: Murders of gays raise question of hate crimes

During the events surrounding the annual celebration of IDAHOT in Cuba, it emerged that a young transsexual had recently been killed in the city of Pinar del Río near the western tip of this Caribbean island nation. While efforts to combat discrimination against LGBT are stepped up in Cuba, this segment of the population remains vulnerable to harassment and violence – and even death.

Violent crime is generally surrounded by silence in this island nation of 11.2 million people, and killings of LGBT individuals are no exception. The 1987 penal code does not specifically recognise hate crimes, or sexual orientation and gender identity as aggravating circumstances in murders.

National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX) said the number of murders of MSM in 2013 and 2014 was high. At that time the issue came to the forefront because of the deaths of two high-profile openly gay cultural figures, who died in strange circumstances, according to activists. Read More