Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Delegation of activists and politicians meet with murdered gay Puerto Rican teenager's family

A delegation of activists and legislators from Chicago and New York City met with murdered gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado's family earlier today in San Juan.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Illinois state Sen. Iris Martinez, who chairs the Democratic National Committee's Hispanic Caucus, Cary Alan Johnson of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and Pedro Julio Serrano were among those who traveled to Puerto Rico. They also met with fellow activists, legislators and religious leaders earlier in the day.

Quinn, who announced the trip at a fundraiser for López's family on the Lower East Side last Tuesday night, posted pictures of today's meetings on her Twitter page. And at a press conference earlier today, she, fellow Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito and others once again blasted Gov. Luis Fortuño's continued failure to publicly respond to the teenager's brutal murder.

“We in the delegation certainly hope that Governor Fortuño will hear our message loud and clear, that his response to Jorge Steven’s murder has been absolutely unacceptable," Mark-Viverito said in an e-mail. "I am profoundly disappointed in the Governor’s lack of leadership on this matter. We must expect greater accountability and responsibility on the part of our elected officials.”

New York City elected officials pose with Jorge Steven López Mercado's family at a San Juan restaurant. [Photo courtesy of Latino Commission on AIDS]

From left; Karlo Colon, Miriam Mercado, Guillermo Chacon and Jorge López.

New York City Councilmembers meet with Puerto Rican lawmakers and others in San Juan.

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