By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
An eighteen-year-old member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, Joseph Sanchez, was killed early Sunday morning and his body was discovered on Elston Kerr Street before 2:00 a.m.
Sanchez was found dead on the sidewalk wearing a white sleeveless blouse and a short green and black skirt and women’s underwear with a stab wound to the center of his chest. According to the police report, Sanchez was walking alone along Elston Kerr Street when he was approached by two men who tried to rob him and inflicted the wound before fleeing.
Sanchez’s family believes that the murder was something other than a simple robbery. Abner Sanchez, brother of the deceased, told the media, “It was a setup because they called him out of his bed, he was already in bed. He doesn’t normally walk those hours. He was always picked up.”
Sanchez also told the media that since the death of his brother the family has also learned through friends of the deceased that he had been receiving death threats from a male person that he was previously involved with.
Sanchez stated that the family’s information is that the man who was involved with his brother did not know that his brother was a man. The family believes that this is the reason for the murder of their loved one.
While the family believes that the incident was a crime of passion, United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) Executive Director, Caleb Orozco has since speculated that the incident was a hate crime. Orozco stated that the murder of Sanchez was an act of intimidation and oppression to the entire community. Orozco stated that Sanchez was robbed of his right to expression. He also stated,
“It robs the person of dignity. He is dead. Even if you don’t like he expressed himself, no one has the right to commit unnecessary violence on another person’s body.”
According to the police, the investigation into the murder is still ongoing.