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A Month Before Pulse Tragedy, Gunmen Killed Seven in Mexican Gay Bar Attack

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Despite progressive LGBT laws, Mexico's rising homophobia remains a concern

Nearly a month ago, on May 22, gunmen went into La Madame, a gay club in Xalpa, Veracruz, and opened fire, killing seven and injuring 12 in a crowd of about 180 people.

Witnesses said that there was a fight in the bar about an hour before, but no evidence has been found. The secretary of public security said that the incident was related to a territorial fight over drug sales, but LGBT+ activists feel otherwise.

"The fact is, attackers fired their weapons randomly at customers inside 'La Madame' a gay friendly nightclub," said one article in the Yucatan Times.

While the Caribbean and Latin America have made many strides over the years for LGBT rights, and Mexico is ahead of the U.S. on certain issues (gay marriage was legalized in 2009, gay men can donate blood, and there are laws across the country that forbid employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation), violent homophobia remains a huge issue.

According to the Inter-American Comission on Human Rights, almost 600 LGBT people were killed over a fifteen month period, and 176 were injured in 25 countries of the Organization of American States. Making matters worse, in 2012, 98 percent of homicides went unsolved in Mexico.

In addition, a report by the Latin And Caribbean Transgender Network and the International AIDS Alliance found that around 80 percent of transgender activists in Latin America said they had been physically attacked.

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