More than 300 people in Brazil have been killed in anti-LGBT hate crimes so far this year.
This number means that the South American country is on track to make 2018 its deadliest-ever year on record for queer people, after there were 387 LGBT+ murder victims in 2017 and a total of 343 the year before.
The survey by Brazil’s oldest LGBT watchdog, Grupo Gay da Bahia, also found that 713 anti-LGBT hate crimes — often in the categories of physical or psychological violence — have been recorded in 2018 up until mid-September.
One of the murders from this year was that of 38-year-old black, lesbian councilwoman Marielle Franco, who was shot dead in her car in March, sparking thousands to protest in the streets.
Her partner Mônica Benício, who she was planning to marry in 2019, spoke out following the apparent assassination, saying: “I don’t question at all that it was a political crime.
“She was our only black female councillor – a black, lesbian woman from the favelas occupying a position of power that’s predominantly reserved for the white men.”
The results were revealed as far-right anti-LGBT candidate Jair Bolsonaro — who once said he would prefer to have a dead son over a gay one — leads the presidential polls ahead of October’s general election.
Last year, Grupo Gay da Bahia president Luiz Mott said that the rising levels of violence were partially caused by the growth of and publicity given to ultra-conservative politicians.
And Bolsonaro has risen to prominence on the back of hateful comments, including in 2015 when he said hospital patients should be allowed to reject ‘gay blood.’