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Lawmakers Meet with Murdered Teens Family


A delegation of openly and Latino legislators from New York City and Illinois traveled to Puerto Rico on Tuesday to meet with the family of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, a gay teenager who was found brutally murdered in November.

The elected officials from New York City included city council speaker Christine Quinn and council members Danny Dromm, Jimmy Van Bramer, and Rosie Mendez, all of whom are gay, and another council member, Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Members of the Illinois delegation who traveled to San Juan included state senator Iris Martinez, the head of the Democratic National Committee's Hispanic Caucus, and Illinois state representative Maria Berrios, according to Edge.

The elected officials and other advocates met with the late Lopez's parents and younger brother. The delegation also criticized Gov. Luis Fortuno for his silence around the murder, which is being prosecuted as a hate crime.

According to Edge, "Quinn said before the trip she and other members of the delegation will continue to monitor the investigation and make future trips to Puerto Rico if necessary."

Lopez's body was found decapitated, dismembered, and burned on a roadside near Cayey in November. His accused killer, Juan Jose Matos Martinez, returns to court February 2 for a preliminary hearing.

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