Argentina: three deaths in Buenos Aires after arson described as “lesbophobic”

Argentina: three deaths in Buenos Aires after arson described as “lesbophobic”
Argentina: three deaths in Buenos Aires after arson described as “lesbophobic”

The fire occurred during the night from Sunday to Monday in the Barracas district, in a “conventillo”, a type of collective accommodation-boarding house. A 62-year-old resident of the building threw a homemade explosive into a room where a lesbian couple lived and another was staying. Around thirty occupants had to be evacuated.

A first 52-year-old woman died shortly after the incident, another of the same age on Wednesday. The third victim, aged 43, died on Sunday morning, said Buenos Aires health authorities and the Argentine LGBT+ Federation.

The perpetrator of the attack was arrested on the spot, after attempting to mutilate himself.

Neither the police nor the courts have communicated the motive or the precise context of the attack.

The Ministry of Women of the province of Buenos Aires (of Peronist persuasion, opposed to the ultraliberal president Javier Milei) for its part denounced a “crime of lesbophobia”, which is “not an isolated case, but is part of in speeches repeated irresponsibly by the government.

For the local diversity journalism network “Presentes”, the Barracas drama is part of a double thread of “housing crisis and hate speech”.

Since coming to power in December, the Milei government has announced measures targeting symbols of feminism or diversity: the abolition of the Ministry of Women, the closure of the National Institute against Discrimination, and even the ban on use inclusive language in the army – where it was not obligatory – and in the national administration.

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