Three suspects have been arrested in the murder of a young, gay teacher/activist, according to Brazilian police. Professor Lindolfo Kosmanski’s burnt body was discovered on the side of a São João do Triunfo highway on April 30.
Local LGBTQ community members have called the 25-year-old teacher’s death a hate crime. Police say they are investigating and looking for a motive.
“We will have several other stages of data analysis, which is a more technological stage, in order to bring together all the elements necessary to hold those responsible for this nefarious crime to account,” Michel Leite Pereira da Silva, the police officer leading the case, told local news outlet Globo.
From what information has been released, Komanski was last seen at a local bar. He was shot twice and left in a burning car, though it’s unclear whether he died from the gunshots or the fire.
“He was well known in the region,” his cousin, Benedito Camargo, told UOL. “Before he died, he paid everyone for beer and then he disappeared. His cell phone stayed at the establishment. A friend said that Lindolfo would have received a death threat days before he was murdered.”
Komanski was active with the group Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST), which advocates for social justice and land reform. He was also a local teacher and was helping to raise his five younger siblings.
“He was a person known for affection and care; with a frank smile and an open heart, with a cheerful look, that captivate hugs and love,” MST said in a statement. “One of those beings who roam the world with a pounding heart, open to the challenge of learning, teaching and sharing” and who wanted to make a difference in the world.
“A legacy this size is impossible to forget, erase or burn out,” they added.