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Brazilian Soldiers Held in Gay Youth Shooting

Brazilian Soldiers Held in Gay Youth Shooting

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Two Brazilian soldiers are being held in connection with the shooting of a young gay man after the pride parade in Rio de Janeiro last Sunday.

According to the Associated Press, "An army statement says one of the suspects acknowledged shooting 19-year-old student Douglas Igor Marques Luiz. The two sergeants were arrested Thursday and will be questioned by police."

Luiz was shot once in the stomach, then treated and released by the hospital. The victim said that the soldiers singled him out and harassed him, according to the AP:

"Douglas Igor Marques Luiz told police he was hanging out with friends at the Arpoador, a rocky outcrop between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches Sunday when three men in military uniforms approached. The 19-year-old said they told everyone to leave, but held him back and started verbally abusing him. The aggression escalated, and eventually he was shot."

An estimated 25% of the 3 million international visitors to Rio each year are LGBT, but advocates continue to fight lingering homophobic attitudes countrywide. There have been 600 complaints of antigay violence in Rio state in the last year, reports the AP, and advocates want Brazil's senate to pass a law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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