ADDED ON: 04/07/2021

Venezuela’s Secret: Crimes Against LGBTQ+ Migrants And Sex Workers

04/06/2021 | OUT Magazine

“Hello, Papi, I am in Brazil.” A text message I received sitting in my home office after nearly a month of silence signified Victor Arellano’s nine-month battle had just been won. Arellano escaped Venezuela with a bullet in his spine, fleeing across violent and treacherous terrains, to have a chance of survival in a place providing no guarantees of a better life. Early last year, when the pandemic first began its lethal assault upon the world, Arellano, a 30-year-old gay man, was walking home from a friend’s at dusk. He was shot point-blank in the face and was left with a bullet lodged between the joints of his cervical spine that missed his spinal cord by only millimeters. “What do you mean, three men?” I asked Victor in broken Spanish at the time. “Three men started beating me and calling me a faggot,” he replies. “I tried to fight them off, but I just couldn’t. Then everything went black.” In the police report from the night of Arellano’s attempted murder, two witnesses reported hearing gunshots and seeing three men running out of Arellano’s home with his motorcycle and several other personal possessions. Arellano says local police, with little funding and few resources, told him they are unable to follow up and are unlikely to do so in the future.


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