According to the Associated Press, Charlot Jeudy, the leader of a prominent LGBTQ organization in Haiti, was found dead on Monday, according to friends.
Geraldine Clair Museau, a member of the group known as Kouraj, which means “courage,” in English, told The Associated Press that Jeudy’s body was found at his home in the capital of Port-au-Prince. It wasn’t immediately clear how he died, and police didn’t return calls for comment.
According to this tweet and a few other tweets from people in Haiti, they are reporting, he may have been killed.
Charlot Jeudy, militant LGBTI le plus mobilisé d'Haïti, a été tué hier. Les circonstances de ce meurtre sont encore floues mais c'est une terrible nouvelle pour la communauté et plus largement pour les défenseurs des droits humains dans le pays. #Haiti #LGBTQI 🏳️🌈
— Amélie Baron (@Ameliebaron) November 25, 2019
Jeudy has spoken out against homophobia and was forced to cancel a festival celebrating the Afro-Caribbean LGBTQ community in 2016 because of numerous threats of violence.
In a statement on his group’s website, Jeudy had vowed to keep fighting discrimination.
“Faced with such permanent and brutal stigmatization, violence, and insults, many of us — if not the totality — have lost hope to see our own dignity respected. … That is what I want to fight,” he wrote.
Haiti’s LGBTQ community remains mostly underground because of social stigma, although there are no laws criminalizing homosexual relations as there are in several English-speaking Caribbean islands.
A 2015 human rights report on Haiti by the U.S. State Department said “local attitudes remained hostile to outward” LGBTQ identification and expression, especially in the capital.