The killing of a University of Guadalajara student who was found shot to death in Zapopan — the 16th student to suffer a violent death since 2014 — is now being investigated as a possible hate crime.
Police found the body of Jonathan Alberto Santos, 24, around 7 a.m. Tuesday on a street in the Balcones de la Cantera neighborhood. Jalisco prosecutors are gathering evidence to determine whether the murder was a hate crime against Santos, who was a member and activist of the LGBTQ community.
Attorney General Gerardo Octavio Solis said the authorities will also continue to pursue the possibility that it was a crime of passion or related to robbery.
The death has sparked calls among students at the university for solutions to violence in Guadalajara and for justice in Santos’s killing.
A woman identifying herself as Santos’s cousin said her family was unaware of any previous incidents in which Santos was targeted for violence.
“Everywhere he went, he was accepted as he was,” she said.
A local campus student organization, the University Students Federation (FEU), has encouraged demonstrators to congregate Friday evening at the governor’s residence, Casa Jalisco.
“We will keep fighting to demand justice for each student, for each one of our rights, and for every freedom. We will not rest until there is justice,” the organization posted on Twitter.
On his personal Twitter account on the day of Santos’s death, FEU president Javier Armenta linked the killing to many other murders of students and young people.
“Yet again, one of our fellow students has been a victim of violence and insecurity … What more is needed to stop these losses?”
In addition to the 16 students murdered in the last six years, another eight have disappeared.