Today marks the first anniversary of the brutal murder of gay Puerto Rican teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado.
Juan José Martínez Matos stabbed López to death on Nov. 13, 2009, before he dumped the teenager’s decapitated, dismembered and partially burned body along a remote roadside near Cayey.
López’s mother, Myriam Mercado, told me in June “with a crime so atrocious, it is important people unite in their pain.” Her strength—and especially the unconditional love she continues to show for her son—remain an inspiration to everyone who has met her over the last year. It must be said, however, 12 LGBT Puerto Ricans have been murdered since López’s brutal death.
Recent events in New York City and around the country prove anti-LGBT hate crimes remain a serious problem. And on this grim anniversary, it remains imperative that everyone step up and say enough is enough.