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Third gay woman dies after Molotov cocktail attack in Argentina

Third gay woman dies after Molotov cocktail attack in Argentina
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A third woman died on Sunday after a man threw a Molotov cocktail at the home of two lesbian couples, killing two women in Buenos Aires last week, according to Argentina’s LGBT+ Federation.

The attack on Monday, widely seen as a hate crime, shocked many in a nation that considers itself to be a pioneer of gay rights in Latin America.

A 62-year-old man threw a Molotov cocktail into a boarding house where the lesbian couples lived, setting it ablaze, officials said. The suspect was arrested and has been hospitalised.

One woman died on Tuesday and another on Wednesday, both suffering from burn injuries.

“The third victim of the attack died this Sunday at 10 in the morning,” Maria Rachid of the LGBT+ Federation told Agence France-Presse.

The fourth woman, who suffered milder injuries, “is recovering and has a good prognosis”, Rachid said.

Dozens of people gathered last week in front of the boarding house, lighting candles for a vigil. On Friday, another event was held near the nation’s Congress to demand justice for the attack.

Argentina has been a Latin American leader in gay marriage and identity legislation, with a 2021 law allowing nonbinary people to mark their gender with an “X”.

However, many fear a backsliding in their freedoms under libertarian President Javier Milei.

“This hate crime is not an isolated event,” the Buenos Aires women’s ministry wrote on X, saying it was a consequence of the government’s “irresponsible” discourse.

Since taking office in December, Milei has scrapped the national women’s affairs ministry and the anti-discrimination agency, and banned the use of gender-inclusive language in the military.

During a speech to world leaders in Davos, Switzerland in January, he took aim at socialism, “radical feminism” and the “bloody agenda of abortion”.

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