SAN ANTO: Community Action : Vigil, Sunday Nov 22 @ 5pm

~ * ~ PLEASE FORWARD ~ * ~

Community Action
Vigil for Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado
and Jason Mattison Jr.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 @ 5:00pm
Crockett Park (N.Main Ave & Cypress)
~ please bring candles ~

In an act of solidarity and in response to sudden and widespread outrage due to the murders of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado and
Jason Mattison Jr, San Antonians will gather at
Crockett Park for a vigil Sunday, Nov 22 at 5:00 pm.

The San Antonio vigil will occur in conjunction with satellite Sunday vigils in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Durham, and other cities.

Speakers slotted include major social, and artistic leaders
of San Antonio.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On the night of Friday, November 13, 2009, 26-year-old Juan Martinez Matos picked up 19-year-old Jorge Steven López in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and drove him to the nearby town of Cidra, PR. After discovering that Mercado, who was dressed as a female, was a man, Matos, in a whirlwind of rage, not only murdered Mercado, but also beheaded and dismembered his body. Mercado’s remains were partially set on fire. Mercado’s body was discovered in the nearby town of Cayey, PR. A search for the murderer immediately began.

Matos has been apprehended, has confessed, and is imprisoned with bail set at four million dollars. Initial reports seem to indicate that the line of defense will be invoking “gay panic,” a strategy used commonly in recent times with varying degrees of success. In a troubling interview with Univisión, police investigator Ángel Rodríguez Colón is on record as saying (as translated into English), “These types of people, when they enter this lifestyle and go out into the streets know that this could happen.” We find this unacceptable, and furthermore call for a stop to victim blame in this case. Never in Puerto Rico’s history has a crime been prosecuted with hate crimes provisions attached, despite the existence of said provisions since 2002. We want to make sure this is the first case.

Less than a week later, details of another brutal murder surfaced. This time in Baltimore, where 15-year-old Jason Mattison Jr. was found dead – raped, gagged with a pillowcase, stabbed repeatedly in the head and throat, and shoved into an upstairs closet in his aunt’s home.

For more info contact Maria Salazar (210.260.4975) or Dino Foxx (210.355.2904)
http://mercado-vigil.tumblr.com | click for more info on facebook
ESPERANZA PEACE AND JUSTICE CENTER
922 San Pedro • San Antonio TX 78212 • 210.228.0201
(entrance on W. Evergreen, 1/2 mile north of downtown)
www.esperanzacenter.org || subscribe to listserv ||

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