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Police Apprehend Suspects in Grisly Slaying of Gay Brazilian Activist, Teacher

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday May 18, 2021

Lindolfo Kosmaski
Lindolfo Kosmaski  (Source:Lindolfo Kosmaksi/Facebook)

Brazilian police have taken three suspects into custody in connection with the grisly murder of a gay teacher who was shot twice and then left in a burning car, the Latin Times has learned.

As per the report, "The charred remains of LGBTQ activist and professor Lindolfo Kosmaski, 25, was found with gunshot wounds along PR-151 road in São João do Triunfo in the southern state of Paraná on May 1."

It's reported that Kosmaski had been bound with ropes and shot before he was left in the burning vehicle. Authorities have not yet established whether the gunshots killed the young LGBTQ activist and educator, or if he died in the fire.

Days prior, Kosmaski had received death threats before he suddenly vanished from a bar. The Latin Times also noted his disappearance was so abrupt that, according to his cousin, Kosmaski "[left] his cell phone at the establishment."

It's also been reported that Kosmaski was active with the Brazilian Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), which describes itself as "a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas."

The MST attributed his death to homophobic violence, Brasil de Fato reported.

"The MST underlines its commitment to fight for a society without LGBT phobia, and to build a world in which life and all ways of being and loving are fully protected," the group said in a statement regarding Kosmaski's killing. "The blood of LGBT people is also the blood of the Landless."

The young victim was a student himself, as well as an educator, with Brasil de Fato noting: "At the time of his death, he was a teacher in the Paraná state network, and he was studying for a master's at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), in the Science and Mathematics Education program."

What's more, Kosmaski was also said to have been active in politics and ran an unsuccessful campaign last year to be elected as a city council member in São João do Triunfo.

"A week after Kosmaski's death on May 7, police captured three suspects, aged between 20 and 39 years old, and found that all three were acquaintances of the victim," the Latin Times reported.

No further details on the suspects have been provided, but anti-LGTBQ violence in the country has skyrocketed in recent years. The U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil's James Green told Pink News that Kosmaski had been "open about his being gay," pointing out that, "Since the election of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in 2018, there has been a significant increase in violence against LGBT+ people in Brazil."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.