“They took me by force and one of them came up to me,” Milton Amezquita-Guzman tells the Washington Blade. “He stuck his penis inside of me and he shouted ‘you are a whore. I will kill you.’”
After being disowned by his family for being gay, 27-year-old Amezquita-Guzman took a job as a clothing merchant in the city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Earlier this year, local gang members began extorting him for money. The men repeatedly called him a “faggot piece of shit” and a “whore.” One day in March, they ganged up and forced him to perform oral sex on them.
The incident, which marked the third time he had been sexually assaulted, left Amezquita-Guzman traumatized. He decided to flee Guatemala shortly afterwards, traveling up through Mexico and finally crossing the Rio Grande into Texas.
But little did he know, his troubles were only just beginning.
Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained Amezquita-Guzman in May. He was sent to a privately-run detention facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America in the state of Georgia where he filed a claim seeking asylum.
“He could have been released on bond, and he wasn’t,” Amezquita-Guzman’s lawyer, Patrick Valdez, tells the Blade. “My client’s not a danger. He doesn’t have a record in his country or in this country. His record is impeccable. And he had a legitimate asylum application and he had to litigate his case in custody the whole time. That was unfortunate.”
While in detainment, Amezquita-Guzman says he continued to suffer additional mistreatment at the hands of detention facility personnel, including being barred from speaking with his lawyer. He was also denied any psychological treatment in the aftermath of the sexual assaults.
“It’s assumed that the inmate is not telling the truth or is exaggerating,” Valdez told the Blade. “There’s no way to complain. There’s no regulatory mechanism to manage these kinds of challenges that these detention centers have.”
Indeed, when Amezquita-Guzman went to a judge for help, he was told “there is no problem.”
Valdez says he has worked with a number of other gay asylum seekers from Latin America who have experienced similar abuses. According to the Blade, violence against the LGBT community has resulted in the deaths of nearly 600 people in the Americas between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31 of this year.
“[T]he brutality that they face when they are confronted with homophobia is just as brutal as it has ever been,” Valdez says.
After being put through the wringer for nearly half a year, Amezquita-Guzman was finally granted asylum by a new judge last month.
“I was thankful for the judge who made the decision,” said Valdez. “She made the right decision. The facts was [sic] very compelling. She listened. She made her own inquiries and she listened to the case and made her own notes and she was conscientious in that regard.”
Amezquita-Guzman says he’s now focused on moving forward and building a new life for himself.
“I suffered from a mountain of things,” Amezquita-Guzman says. “I suffered in my country of Guatemala.”
h/t: Michael K. Lavers/Washington Blade
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Graham Gremore is a columnist and contributor for Queerty and Life of the Law. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Corporate run prisons have no incentive to release prisoners. They get paid by the head.
The american justice system is political patronage shit show.
Too bad Milton Amezquita-Guzman didn’t have a gun. Bullies are bullies. Point a gun at them and they will run.
Problem with that is they come back…with more of them and bigger weapons.
Glad he’s now legally here and hopefully safe.
Sure hope he has been able to talk to someone about his assault.
It’s criminal that he is not being provided counseling services for his PTSD.
It will take him a life time to overcome the violation. Hope he is resilient to wade through this lifetime.
Sounds like another lawyer playing the gay (and rape) card to help a client get asylum. He could have moved to the next town or even the next country and not to the US. Oops, I’ll just skip over Mexico….
A gay man was forced to orally service a bunch of straight thugs in a clothing store? Isn’t this like the pivotal fantasy of many gay porn movies?
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
Because EVERYONE knows the surest way to show a f*g just how very straight you are is to make them suck your dick and then fcuk them……..
@Desert Boy: Guns: The American solution to all problems.
@jason smeds: Intelligent, rational adults understand the difference between fantasy and reality. It’s unfortunate that you don’t.
@Stefan: What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be reading the “Focus on the Family” or “Aryan Nation” website.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
Do you even know what the word “rape” means?????????
@Stefan: Maybe I am jaded, but I was thinking the same thing.
@jwtraveler: @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: I don’t know why you guys are coming down on Stefan. As I just posted, I thought the same thing. He ran into my knife NINE times. And here let me show you JUST how jaded I really am… Amezquita-Guzman will probably be collecting disability benefits within a year. Yay America!!!
@Caine: @Stefan: You two are horrible human beings.
@Caine: “And here let me show you JUST how jaded I really am.”
It’s like watching a man shit himself, stick his fingers down his pants and then lick them.
‘LOOKIT HOW BAD I AM MOMMEE!”
@jason smeds: I’d wish the same on you, Smegma, except of course you’d enjoy it.
Long may your everyone-imposed celibacy continue.
@Stefan: You know, I’m inclined to agree with you. He’s in Guatemala, for heaven’s sake. Is the United States the only nation with gay rights? He could probably have gone into South America (where they speak Spanish) easier.
@Stefan: “Sounds like a lawyer playing the gay (and rape) card to help a client get asylum.
And the six hundred gay people who’ve been killed? Presumably they were playing the ‘murder’ card.
@Will L: And the sock puppets converge!
Guatemala has very little legal protection for gays and lesbians compared with other countries in Latin America. However even in countries like Brazil and Mexico where gay people have the right to marry and enjoy a degree of protection from discrimination in the workplace, incidents of homophobic violence are much higher than the US.
Given that the man has already been subject to repeated instances of such violence it isn’t hard to see why he would seek asylum in America.
Unless you’re a smug, stupid, prating little piece of excrement that is.
@Saint Law: I hardly comment on stories but your replies are too awesome. Well done! We need more people like you in this world.
People post well written socio-political arguments and the muck raking, sensationalistic monitors delete their posts. The hateful comments that are allowed to remain here are an affront to human rights advocates everywhere. Shame on Queerty.
You know what I don’t get about my fellow Americans and I use the term loosely. We spend sooo much time acting as if America is the greatest country on earth, but everytime someone wants to come here we do everything we can conceive possible to make sure they can’t. Lol god bless America right.
Cuckoo, cuckoo…wake up, people, this is Guatemala. It isn’t exactly the paragon of human rights clauses. Look at Mexico, look at Venezuela…it’s a cesspool of abuses.
The men there are very forward in their sexuality. They will have sex with anything that moves. They don’t abide by the silly divisions that dominate liberal thinking in the United States, and where people are segregated according to whether they are straight or gay.
A masculine culture of homosexuality is common in those South American countries. When assaults occur, they are usually directed against effeminate homosexuals who are considered to be the antithesis of this masculine homosexual culture. It’s about power to a large extent.
if they forced him to give oral sex, doesn’t that make the gangsters, or bullies gay. why would you want sex from some one you find detestable.
Because I am not in favor of unlawful illegal immigration,
normally I would immediately deport any illegal back to whichever country they came from.
America is a country with a great many flaws, but still the best free country on the planet.
All PROVEN rape victims, male and female should be allowed to stay in a hospital in America, and be treated for both physical and mental damage that has to have occurred….
and if the doctors confirm the victim’s story, release him or her with a work permit and a place to live until they can afford to support themselves…..or leave the country on their own accord.
@ass eater: male on male rape often does not have to do with sexuality but power, so yes, men who do not identify as gay do rape men who do or don’t identify as gay. This often occurs in prison or gang situations. Watch the films American Me, American History X, and Shawshank Redemption, or the TV series Oz, if you want a better understanding of that.
The Village Elder
I have lived in and visited in South America for years. The social background is tainted by Catholicism and increasing worse, by evangelical christianity. Gay men are frequently targeted for rape, other violence and murder. The effeminate boy/man is doomed whether gay or straight. The hateful idiots who post here on Queerty should have to experience life in the barrios before they’re so quick to spew out their ignorance.
@ass eater: You clearly don’t understand the concept of rape. @spacecadet: Rape is always about power. Male on male rape is common in the military where hyper-masculinity is valued. The strong prey on the weak to show their superior power and masculinity.
@jwtraveler: I don’t think I’d always say it’s about power, taking it out of the context of the military and prisons and gangs. For instance, there have been well-publicized stories of young men who took advantage of women who were passed out or too drunk to resist because they either didn’t see it as rape or because they think the girls are asking for it. There is a sexual motivation to these rapes, as in they sexually desire the persons they are raping. It is not the same as raping to overpower or humiliate someone.
@Caine: the man left a business, family and friends, to escape brutal rape and assault from homophobic thugs, and all you and Stefan can think about is him possibly collecting U.S. Aid ??!!! Perhaps a good walk in his shoes will shift your cynical jugements, as well as those of a lot of tea baggers. What one sows, so shall they reap.
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