São Paulo skinheads critically injure one in apparent gay bashing

Group of 10-15 stabbed and beat 4 youths at popular gay meeting spot

Washington Blade/April 25, 2006

One man remains critically injured with stab wounds suffered in an attack by a group of 10-15 apparent skinheads on a street in São Paulo, Brazil, that is a traditional meeting spot for young gays, lesbians, drag queens and punkers.

Police say the attack, which took place in the early morning hours of April 22, was unprovoked and probably motivated by bias, according to local media reports.

Jefferson Marcelo dos Reis Silva, 22, was stabbed serveral times and is still hospitalized after surgery, the newspaper O Estado reported. A 15-year-old male, punched in the face by the attackers, was treated and released, while two females, ages 14 and 15, were less seriously injured, the paper reported.

São Paulo city officials are taking heat for the attack, which came only two days after gay activists met with government representatives to complain about an increase in skinhead activity at that exact location. The April 19 meeting, called by São Paulo's GLBT Advisory Board, had drawn promises of a stronger police presence, according to press accounts at the time.

"It is unbelievable this is happening again in São Paulo in 2006," one activist said at the meeting, Mix Brasil reported. "I remember the case of Edson Néris, who was brutally beaten to death by skinheads in the city's Praça da República," an event that shook the city's large but politically docile gay population, the activist said.

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