''We haven't yet heard one politician or religious leader condemn the brutal killing of this young man and it's been a week since his body was discovered.''
Rev. Dr. Samuel Cruz of the Union Theological Seminary appearing at a protest outise of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Office in NYC. Many US citizens are shocked by the death of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, who was 19 when his body was found in the street said to have been burned, cut to pieces, even decapitated. A 26-year-old man, Juan Martinez Matos, has been arrested, and some news sources say he may have been looking for female prostitutes, but instead took home Lopez Mercado. Other news agencies are coming forth with news that a "gay panic" defense may be used by Matos. (NY1)
''What happened happened because I defended myself. I cut him and beheaded him and I accept it as a man.''
Martinez Matos reportedly speaking to Telemundo about his alleged action the night he is said to have met and murdered Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, a gay or transgender 19-year-old, that Matos may have picked up for sex, possibly thinking Lopez Mercado was a woman. Headlines this year paint the island nation in a near state of lawlessness, with enforcement officials claiming the more than 800 murders there this year are due to a culture of drug use and reliance on public assistance. (CNN International) (Latin American Herald Tribune)