The Reporter, a Belizean newspaper, reported two men fatally stabbed Joseph Sanchez, 18, in the chest early on Jan. 12 while walking on a street in Belize City, the country’s largest city.
The publication said authorities found Sanchez wearing a blouse, a short skirt and women’s underwear.
Channel 5 Belize reported police have concluded Sanchez was the victim of what the television station described as “an armed robbery turned violent.”
Sanchez’s brother, Abner Sanchez, told the Reporter he feels the two men deliberately targeted Sanchez — reports have emerged that Sanchez had previously received death threats from a man with whom the 18-year-old had been previously involved.
“It was a setup because they called him out of his bed,” Abner Sanchez told the Reporter. “He doesn’t normally walk those hours. He was always picked up.”
...Caleb Orozco, co-founder of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), an HIV/AIDS advocacy group, expressed concern over the Belizean government’s response to Sanchez’s murder.
“It is my hope they don’t contaminate evidence in this case,” Orozco told the Washington Blade last week, citing a 2009 murder in which a court released the suspected perpetrator after alleging authorities forced him to confess to killing his partner.
...Anti-LGBT violence and discrimination remain a serious problem in Belize in spite of the government’s recent efforts to combat it.
A Southern Poverty Law Center report highlights U.S. religious groups that have backed Belize Action, a group that opposes efforts to overturn the Central American country’s anti-sodomy law. The organization said these efforts have inflamed existing homophobic attitudes in Belize