A man in Peru with an ominous first name allegedly doused his 22-year old son with gasoline and set him on fire after discovering that he was gay and HIV-positive.
Hitler Baneo Núñez was tired of jokes by neighbors about his gay son and apparently tried to burn his son alive in the central town of Loreto. Peruvian media did not reveal the 22-year olds name but gave his initials as RBP.
Local media had no word if Nuñez was in police custody or what charges he may face.
Unfortunately, my father doesn’t accept me as I am.
- Hitler Baneo Núñez's son
Nuñez’s son was saved by neighbors, but suffered a number of burns on his face, arms and legs. He told local media that his father assaulted him because of the revelation that he was HIV positive.
“My dad wanted to kill me because of those illnesses, but my aunt took me out of my father’s house and took me to Iquitos to put me in the institution ‘Algo bello para Dios’ since March 1," the victim said, according to the Peruvian newspaper Peru21. “Unfortunately, my father doesn’t accept me as I am."
The vicious attack drew criticism from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy groups, including Peru’s Comunidad Homosexual de la Región Loreto (CHERL).
"We hope that this complaint ... will be treated seriously by the authorities and that it can generate a change and call attention of the public to the homophobia that lives inside the home and is growing in society towards gay, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans people in the Loreto region," the group said, according to BuzzFeed.
Anti-gay crimes have become widespread in Peru, while activists in the Andean nation have pressed the national government to pass a hate crimes law. While many of these attacks go unreported, the gay rights group Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (PromSex) unofficially recorded 17 cases in 2011.
The Peruvian attack is one of a recent string of anti-gay acts that have occurred in Latin America.
A tobacco magnate and Paraguay’s leading presidential candidate is currently embroiled in a ferocious controversy over comments he made comparing gay people to “monkeys” and threatening to remove his private parts if his son married another man.
During a recent radio interview, Horacio Cartes, the 57-year old leading candidate for Paraguay’s right-wing Colorado Party, compared the support of same-sex marriage to believing in “the end of the world” and threatened to become a eunuch if his 28-year old son wanted to marry another man.
“I would shoot myself in the testicles, because I do not agree,” he said, according to The New York Times. The Times reported that Cartes used slightly more profane language to describe the act.
Other Latin American countries, however, have made progressive steps toward gay rights, with both Argentina and Uruguay legalizing gay marriage.