Mossos have detected "groups that go out hunting" to attack LGTBI collective

Home Affairs minister says they are people "of different ages" and there is no evidence that they are organised

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Hundreds of demonstrators filled yesterday an entire crossroads of the superilla of Sant Antoni as a sign of mourning for the death of Samuel.

BarcelonaCatalan Home Affairs Minister, Joan Ignasi Elena, has explained that groups of people who "meet and go hunting" to attack homosexuals have been detected, although there is no evidence that they are "organised plots". According to Elena on RAC1, they are people "'from here, of different ages", who attack LGTBI collective thanks to a "certain permissiveness in the rejection of difference". "They live installed in hatred and fed by the culture of hate", he said, and has ensured that the Mossos d'Esquadra are very much on top of these aggressors.

Elena has said it only a few days after the police have begun to investigate a homophobic aggression in the centre of Madrid as a crime of hate, in which eight hooded men brutally attacked a boy in broad daylight. The events took place on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Malasaña neighbourhood, when the attackers assaulted the victim, 20, taking advantage of the fact that he was unsuspecting at the door of his house, cut off his lip and the word "faggot" was carved into the skin of his buttock with a sharp object.

In fact, this brutal aggression and the one that took place in Toledo last Friday have forced the Spanish government to take action. The spokesperson of the executive, Isabel Rodríguez, explained yesterday that the president, Pedro Sánchez, has convened the monitoring commission of the plan to combat hate crimes this Friday. In a press conference after the council of ministers, she made it clear that Sunday's aggression "deserves the maximum political and social rejection" and announced the convening of the commission.

Attacks on the LGTBI community have increased alarmingly in recent months. In fact, racism and LGTBIphobia are the main causes of the growth of discrimination complaints in Barcelona. In the first six months of the year, 125 cases of discrimination have been registered in the city, a slightly higher figure than during the same period last year (111), according to the latest balance of the Office of Non-Discrimination (OND) of the Barcelona City Council. Racism, xenophobia and LGTBIphobia accumulate more than 60% of the open files and remain as the main causes with a similar weight in the complaints (above 30% in both cases), but have evolved differently in recent years: while complaints of racism and xenophobia fell 12 points from January to June, those related to LGTBIphobia increased up to 5 points, which worries the consistory.

One of the most serious homophobic attacks took place in May on Somorrostro beach, where five men beat up two gay couples. One of the victims suffered a broken jaw, lost several teeth and had to undergo surgery. The Mossos d'Esquadra showed "concern" for this multiple attack, according to what the spokesman of the body, the commissioner Joan Carles Molinero, admitted. In statements to the ARA, Molinero explained that the victims suffered "disproportionate" and "gratuitous" violence. After receiving the complaint of the four assaulted men and collecting several testimonies, the police began looking for the five perpetrators and will also investigate whether they may be an organised group acting out of homophobia. Finally, in July, three people were arrested, two of whom are already in prison. The other is a minor.

Samuel's murder

The high alert came, however, with the murder of Samuel, 24, who was beaten up outside a club in La Coruña, Galicia. His death shocked the LGTBI collective because witnesses explain that the group that assaulted Samuel to death screamed "faggot" at him. The National Police arrested six people, three of whom the judge investigating the case ordered to be sent to prison. They are three men, friends of each other and unrelated to the victim.