Mob Attacks 20-Year-Old Gay Man, Carves Homophobic Slur Into His Flesh

A young gay man in Madrid, Spain, was assailed on Sunday by a homophobic mob that chased, cornered, beat and threatened the man with a knife, even carving "maricón," the Spanish word for f**got, into one of his buttocks.

First reported by the Spanish newspapers El Pais and eldiario.es, police in Madrid confirmed they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

The young man, 20, reported that about eight people were among the mob and that they shouted insults at him as they attacked him. It was shortly after 5:15 local time when the group of hooded attackers started to pursue him.

His lip was also cut by the knife, according to a police spokesman. He was on his way back to his apartment when the attackers forced their way into his hallway.

"The investigation is focusing on CCTV footage and on finding witnesses in order to identify the alleged attackers," the Policía Nacional spokesman said at a press conference. Newsweek reached out to investigators in Madrid but did not hear back in time for publication.

Just two months ago, a 24-year-old gay man was beaten to death in the Galician city of A Coruña. Spaniards are calling for a renewed focus on justice and protection for LGBTQ people in the wake of Samuel Luiz's death.

Spanish President Pedro Sanchez tweeted in solidarity with the young man and Spain's LGBTQ community, saying his government would have zero tolerance for such crimes. He is expected to convene a special anti-hate crimes committee this Friday.

En nuestra sociedad no tiene cabida el odio. Mi rotunda condena a este ataque homófobo. No vamos a permitirlo. Seguiremos trabajando por un país abierto y diverso, donde nadie tenga miedo a ser quien es, en el que todos/as vivamos libres y seguros.

Mi cariño al joven agredido. https://t.co/YDjWENyeVa

— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) September 6, 2021

"Hate has no place in our society. My emphatic condemnation of this homophobic attack. We will not allow it," Sanchez said. "We will continue working for an open and diverse country, where no one is afraid of being who they are, where we all live free and safe. My affection for the attacked young man."

Spain LGBTQ
A 20-year-old in Spain was recently attacked by a homophobic mob in Madrid. A protester dressed in the rainbow colours raises his fist as take part in a demonstration to protest against LGTBQ-phobia at the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid on July 11. OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images

Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, a member of the conservative Vox party, addressed the incident as well, saying the attackers would face the "full weight of the law" and reassuring the public that his administration also would not tolerate homophobic attacks. But some called the mayor's sincerity into question, pointing to his party's opposition to expanded rights for LGBTQ people under the law.

"I think equating Vox's message with what happened on the streets of Madrid yesterday is perhaps excessive...Claiming that Vox and its messages could have led to something as barbaric as [Sunday's attack]...is a very unfair comparison," Martínez-Almeida told Cedena Ser radio, responding to the accusations.

The LGBTQ, Spanish YouTuber Cleopan weighed in on Twitter, naming a series of aggressions toward members of the queer community throughout Spain.

"In the last hours in Spain: Assassination of Samuel. Homophobic aggression in León. Homophobic aggression in Valencia. Homophobic aggression in Madrid. Homophobic aggression in Sant Cugat. The police charge against protesters in Madrid," he said. "You cannot look away."

En las últimas horas en España:

- Asesinato de Samuel
- Agresión homofoba en León
- Agresión homofoba en Valencia
- Agresión homofoba en Madrid
- Agresión homofoba en Sant Cugat
- La policía carga contra manifestantes en Madrid

No se puede mirar a otro lado.

— Celopan 🏳️‍🌈 (@CelopanYT) July 6, 2021