A gang of eight hooded assailants launched a “vicious” attack on a gay man in Madrid, Spain, in broad daylight, carving the word “faggot” on his backside.
Two months after the horrific killing of Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old gay man, in A Coruña, Spain, sparked international outrage, another homophobic attack has shocked and repulsed Spain.
The 20-year-old victim was assaulted in the Malasaña neighbourhood at around 5:15pm Sunday afternoon (5 September). His attackers sliced him with a knife as they barked “maricón [faggot]” at him outside his apartment complex, Policía Municipal Madrid said according to elDiario, a Spanish-speaking news outlet.
The victim, who has not been named, was returning home when the group “with their faces covered, ran and cornered him” and followed him into the building entrance.
They called him a “s**teater” and “disgusting” as they slit his upper lip. The man later reported the incident at a police station in the capital city.
The level of impunity seemingly felt by the attackers left officials stunned, a police spokesperson told elDiario.
“This is the first assault of this kind we have heard of,” they said.
“The investigation is focusing on CCTV footage and on finding witnesses in order to identify the alleged attackers.”
Spain’s prime minister ‘vehemently’ decries homophobic attack that left activists speechless
With Samuel Luiz’s death still casting a spectre of fear over Spain’s queer community, officials quickly denounced the attack.
“I condemn this homophobic attack most vehemently,” tweeted the country’s left-wing prime minister, Pedro Sánchez.
En nuestra sociedad no tiene cabida el odio. Mi rotunda condena a este ataque homófobo. No vamos a permitirlo. Seguiremos trabajando por un país abierto y diverso, donde nadie tenga miedo a ser quien es, en el que todos/as vivamos libres y seguros.
Mi cariño al joven agredido. https://t.co/YDjWENyeVa
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) September 6, 2021
“We won’t stand for it and we’ll keep working for an open and diverse country where no one is scared to be who they are, and in which we can all live safely and freely.”
Madrid mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, of the conservative People’s Party, vowed in an interview with Cadene Ser radio Monday evening that the attackers will face “the full weight of the law”.
According to figures from the Madrid Observatory against LGBTphobia, there have been at least 103 homophobic assaults in Madrid this year. Forty-one per cent of LGBT+ Spaniards suffered harassment in the last 12 months, a study published last year by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found.
“The cases have fallen, but the figure is not real,” warned the observatory’s coordinator, Rubén López, to El Paīs.
“Assaults usually take place at night when out drinking and right now, we are not going out,” he said, in reference to ongoing coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
López stressed that the group is in a “state of shock” over the “terrible” incident.
“It’s the toughest thing I’ve seen in Madrid in my six years at the observatory and my 17 years as an activist,” López continued.
“This message of hatred is awful, vicious.”