According to a Brazilian LGBTI advocacy group almost one LGBTI person is killed everyday in Brazil.

©-ia__64-Depositphotos
©-ia__64-Depositphotos

As the world’s media focuses on Rio during the Olympic, stark information has been revealed about the LGBTI community in Brazil. Over 1,600 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people have been killed in hate related attacks in Brazil over the past four years according Grupo Gay da Bahia.

Micro Rainbow International (MRI), a group which helps LGBT people set up small businesses to “step out of poverty” in Rio de Janeiro, said in a statement,

“Internationally, Brazil projects an image of tolerance and openness, where expressions of sexuality during Carnival are nurtured.  However, when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people’s daily lives, Brazil can be ranked as one of the world’s deadliest places.

“Brazil’s culture of machismo paired with nearly a quarter of Brazil’s population being evangelical Christian and very outspoken in their opposition to homosexuality, creates a hotbed of violence and discrimination toward LGBTI people.”

MRI has trained 20 LGBT people, in setting up small businesses. The training is part of a bigger programme funded by the European Union which supports LGBT people in Rio de Janeiro to improve their skills and set up small businesses as a way out of poverty.

Lucas Paoli, MRI’s project manager said,

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“Low income LGBT people in Rio experience discrimination across several aspects of their lives – such as employment, education and family – and additionally, they face regular violence and abuse, at times extreme, such as murder.”

Over the last year MRI has trained over 80 LGBT people in setting up small businesses, has facilitated training opportunities to an additional 20, has recently secured employment opportunities for LGBT people in poverty at the Olympic games and has trained 18 local employers on the barriers faced by LGBT people in the workplace.

Sebastian Rocca, MRI’s CEO said,

“In a period of economic and political crisis, actions like MRI’s offer a lifeline to many LGBT people who would otherwise be left behind,

“On this occasion we celebrate the determination and the courage of 20 LGBT people who chose to fight discrimination and to take their future into their own hands.  We celebrate 20 new small businesses, from plumbing to sushi catering to online recruitment, we could not be prouder.”