Quetzalcóatl Leija Herrera, the president of the Center of Studies and Projects for Integral Human Development (Ceprodehi) in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, was found dead in the early morning of May 4 near the main plaza in Chilpancingo, the state capital. According to the Forensic Medical Service, he was been badly beaten, especially on the head, and died of the injuries.
Leija Herrera was a prominent defender of the rights of sexual minorities in the state. In 2008 he lobbied unsuccessfully for a civil union bill then before the state legislature. He and Ceprodehi also worked on HIV/AIDS prevention and other issues, sponsoring workshops on the correct use of condoms and on defending the human rights of non-heterosexuals. A number of Guerrero-based social organizations, writers and academics signed on to an open letter to Gov. Ángel Aguirre Rivero and the state prosecutors’ office calling Leija Herrera’s murder “a homophobic hate crime” and calling for punishment for this and other assaults against LGBT people. The letter denounced what it called “complicit silence and impunity on the part of the state and its institutions.” (Adital, Brazil, May 4; La Jornada de Guerrero, May 6)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, May 8.
See our last post on Mexico.