Jamaica: 17-year-old ‘chopped and stabbed’ to death in homophobic attack

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A 17-year-old boy has reportedly been killed by a gang in a suspected homophobic attack in Jamaica.

The incident occurred late on Monday evening at a party in the suburban parish of St James, which is located on the north-west end of the Caribbean Island.

According to local media, a male teenager was wearing female clothing and was dancing with another man when a woman at the party recognised him and told other patrons that he was not female, but male. 

Irie FM says: “Some of the patrons reportedly set up on the teen, and chopped and stabbed him to death.

“His body was then dumped in bushes along the Orange Main Road.”

Police discovered the body at around 5am on Monday.

Jamaica is widely known for having a major problem with homophobic and transphobic violence.

In 2011, Oshane Gordon, a 16-year-old teenager, was brutally hacked to death by men who conducted an early morning raid of the small dwelling that he shared with his mother.

Jamaican station CVM TV reported that Oshane was killed because of “questionable relations” with another man.

At least nine homophobic killings occurred on the island last year.

In October, Dane Lewis, director of J-FLAG, Jamaica’s only LGBT rights lobby group, said: “The violence in Jamaica is having a spillover effect on other parts of the Caribbean: St Lucia now has a murder or so every year.”

The Jamaican criminal code prohibits sex between men and sentences for buggery can include 10 years imprisonment with hard labour – the laws date back to the island’s colonial past.

Campaigners are currently engaged in legal efforts to overturn the country’s homophobic laws.