Gay Mexican schoolteacher found murdered in his home; police suspect hate crime

A gay elementary school teacher in Puebla, Mexico was found murdered in his home. Activists have already declared the killing a hate crime.

Police received phone calls from Hugo Mendez’s neighbors after they heard what they described as a “struggle” coming from Mendez’s home. When paramedics arrived, they found him dead at the scene, stabbed. According to people close to Mendez, who also worked as a dance instructor, he had received numerous threats to his life over his sexuality.

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“They did not kill him for being a teacher, or for selling costumes, or for having a dance group,” said one activist. “They killed him because of his sexual orientation. We are outraged. Police must find out who killed him and punish them with the full measure of the law.”

Police have already begun investigating the murder as a hate crime. Despite legal protections like marriage equality in Mexico, LGBTQ people still face a good deal of discrimination and violence. Statistics show that around six queer people are murdered in the country each month.