BARCELONA — People took to the streets of Spain’s biggest cities on Monday evening to express their anger at the death of a man in a suspected homophobic attack at the weekend.
Samuel Luiz, 24 -year – old gay man, was found unconscious at the weekend outside a nightclub in A Coruña, after being beaten. Emergency services failed to revive him and he died on Saturday morning.
The brutal killing has sparked nationwide demonstrations from LGBT+ groups across a number of Spanish cities, with many describing his death as a homophobic “hate crime”.
Friends and relatives of the victim say the nursing assistant was deliberately targeted for being gay and say his attackers used derogatory language during the beating.
Samuel Luiz was reportedly attacked while on a video call, by suspects who believed he was trying to record them. His death came just days after the end of Pride week in Spain.
Crowds filled a central Madrid square and activists marched down a major street in Barcelona, chanting slogans and waving placards and rainbow-colored flags.
Jose Minones, a local government representative in the region where A Coruna is located, tweeted that the police were working to find out what happened and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Local media quoted him as saying the investigation would show whether or not the attack was motivated by homophobia.
According to Interior Ministry figures, hate crimes related to sexual orientation in Spain rose by 8.6% in 2019.
LGBT+ activist groups claim that official statistics only capture a fraction of the problem because many incidents are not reported.