Hate Crime

Three arrested following brutal hate crime-murder of a gay man in Spain

Samuel Luiz Muñiz. Via Facebook

Law enforcement in Spain have arrested three men in connection with the brutal murder of a gay man that happened on July 3.

A group of individuals beat 24-year-old nursing assistant Samuel Luiz Muñiz to death late that evening as he exited a nightclub in A Coruna. Witnesses say his assailants yelled homophobic slurs during the attack, Reuters reports. An ambulance later rushed Muñiz to A Coruna University hospital where he died of his injuries.

“The investigation remains open until the facts are fully clarified. Further arrests are not ruled out in the coming hours,” the Spanish national police service said in a statement. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called the murder a “savage and depraved act” in a press conference on Monday.

Nevertheless, the killing of Muñiz has sparked an international outcry, with protests erupting in Spain and beyond calling for greater protections and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Police in Madrid clashed with the demonstrators, beating them with batons and prompting a separate investigation into their conduct.

At the time of this writing, law enforcement has not made public the names of the three suspects in custody.

Statistics from Spain’s Ministry of the Interior released in the wake of Samuel Luiz Muñiz’s murder shows a sharp spike in anti-queer hate crimes in the nation. Between 2015 and 2019, the Ministry reports a 64.5% increase in violence and harassment against LGBTQ people. Data also shows that victims of the violence are overwhelmingly queer men, while the perpetrators of these crimes are also overwhelmingly male.

Related: 20-year-old hero stabbed in the back in possible anti-gay hate crime