By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com December 14 2012 4:14 PM ET
Two teenagers were arrested Tuesday in connection with the Dec. 9 murder of a gay college student in Brazil, according to Campo Grande News and Gay Star News, which translated the Spanish language report into English. Lawrence Corrêa Biancão, a 20-year-old communications student who lived in the Southwestern Brazil city of Campo Grande, had been found dead, strangled with a seatbelt, with all of his belongings removed from the crime scene. The confession from the two teens arrested illuminates what may have happened during Biancão's final hours.
According to Campo Grande News, the teens said they were motivated by homophobia. One boy apparently told police, "He wanted to kiss me and I wanted to kill him."
The police officer in chage of the investigation, Detective Wellington Oliveira, told reporters that the boys had planned to kill Biancão after meeting him two weeks prior at a local mall. He alleged that Biancão had flirted with him and then the two exchanged phone numbers. That same teen says he then told his alleged co-conspirator and they agreed they would kill him, rob him, dump his body, and drive the victim's stolen car out of the state.
The rest of the alleged confession tells a rather distirubing tale that psychologists are likely to chalk up to, at least in part, internalized homophobia on part of the teenagers. On Dec. 9, Biancão and the teen met at that same promenade, bringing along his friend. Thre three all reportedly drove away in the victim's vehicle, went to a different location, and all masturbated together. They returned to the mall and as Biancão and the teens were saying goodbyes one teen reached from the backseat and strangled Biancão with his own seatbelt.
Fortunately, the victim had told his friends the name and phone number of the guy he was going to meet. Once police went to the alleged killer's home, they found all of Biancão's stolen belongings.
Biancão is one of the approximately 266 murders of LGBT people in Brazil this year alone, the highest anti-LGBT murder rate in the world. Professor Luiz Mott, an anthropologist at the Federal University of Bahia and founder ofBrazil's Grupo Gay da Bahia told Campo Grande News, "The underreporting of these crimes is striking, indicating that the number represents just the tip of an iceberg of cruelty and blood. Since the federal government refuses to build a database on hate crimes against homosexuals, we based this report on newspaper and online news, which is certainly far from covering all of these claims."