Urge the FBI to Investigate a Possible Hate Crime in Puerto Rico

Last Friday (Nov. 13), Jorge Steven López Mercado, an openly-gay 19 year old, was found murdered in a wooded area of the town of Cayey in Puerto Rico.  Steven's body was decapitated, dismembered, and burned.  The local police investigator went on the Spanish-language channel Univisión and said about Steven:

"Este tipo de personas cuando se meten a esto y salen a la calle saben que esto les puede pasar."

I speak Spanish fluently, so let me give you a rough translation:

"Someone like that, who does those kind of things, and goes out in public, knows full well that this might happen to him."

Excuse me?

We have no way of yet knowing conclusively whether or not this horrible murder was motivated by anti-gay bias.  But when the local police investigator says that a teenager should have expected to be decapitated for being gay, clearly we are not going to find out the facts unless impartial law enforcement gets involved.

This case is a perfect example of why federal hate crimes law exists.  To enable the federal government (the FBI under the Department of Justice) to investigate local crimes for violations of federal civil rights laws, especially when local law enforcement refuses to do its job.

Please join us in sending an email message to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller, asking them to investigate whether a hate crime was committed against Jorge Steven López Mercado.

Thank you.

Eric Holder

US Department of Justice