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'Abhorrent:' Man sets lesbian couples on fire, killing one and injuring several others

Buenos Aires Man Sets Lesbian Couples on Fire
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The attack at a boarding house that killed one and left seven others injured has been called "one of the most abhorrent hate crimes in recent years."

One woman died and seven people were hospitalized after a man set fire to a boarding house room hosting two lesbian couples.

The woman has been identified as Pamela Cobas, one of the four LGBTQ+ women in the targeted room. The other three were severely burned and are currently being treated for their injuries, according to local police via the Buenos Aires Herald.

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The fire was started by a 62-year-old man using rags doused in a flammable substance, forcing the the evacuation of the boarding house in Barracas, Buenos Aires Monday night. While police have not yet revealed the suspected motive, the Argentine LGBT Federation said in a statement that the attack is “potentially one of the most abhorrent hate crimes in recent years."

One victim is being treated at the Burn Victims Hospital for severe burns covering 90 percent of her body. She is currently in critical condition, police said. The other two are being treated at a local hospital, where one is under respiratory assistance for the burns covering 50 percent of her body. The other, while unable to testify about the attack so far, is "responding well to care."

The attacker also received medical treatment at a separate local hospital for an apparent self-inflicted neck wound. He has been kept in police custody since being discharged.

The Argentine LGBT Federation attributed the violence in part to the recent gutting of government programs under President Javier Milei, who in February shut down the nation's anti-discrimination agency, the National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADI).

“Hate crimes are the result of a culture of violence and discrimination, sustained by hate speech currently endorsed by several government officials,” the Federation continued. “The only spaces to which those of us who are victims of these attacks can resort are being emptied or eliminated by the current government. ... We will support them and help them and their families in whatever they need, and will follow the case in court so justice is served."

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.