Monday, April 23, 2012

Mérida posts 3rd gay prostitution murder

Mérida crime blotter

For the third time since September, gay prostitution is responsible for the death of a local man, police say.

On Saturday (Apr. 21) employees of Mérida resident Emilio Villanueva Garma, 50, arrived for work and found him dead in a building which served as both his place of business and residence. The scene is 10 blocks east of the city's historic center, in the Lourdes neighborhood. Garma had been clubbed to death.

Police quickly arrested Isaías Koyoc Maas, 20, whom they say had visited Garma the night before, probably for sexual services. Family members of the victim told investigators that Garma was homosexual, lived alone and had frequent contacts with different partners.

A similar case occurred last month, when a 64 year old man picked up a 19 year old male prostitute in Santa Ana park. Police allege the older man was beaten to death in his home several hours later, after his youthful partner became angry over a sexual act which the man had requested. The case is in litigation, awaiting trial, and the defendant entered a not guilty plea to the charges on Friday. Man arrested in Mérida homicide was sex servant for hire, police say.

Yet a third case occurred in September, when a man who lived in the city's central district hired a younger male prostitute. That man, too, became angry over his customer's sexual requests, and ended up strangling him. Police say the 66 year old victim was a native of Quintana Roo state but often traveled to Mérida, where he owned a home, to hire male prostitutes. The prostitute was promised 350 pesos ($28), but the dissatisfied customer refused to pay the young man after a dispute erupted over his services. The legal status of the case has not been reported.

Update Apr. 24: In the latest case Maas was arraigned yesterday and remains in custody. Based upon statements which he made at a preliminary court hearing, prosecutors say Maas had been providing sexual services to Garma for about two years. Garma owed him 300 pesos ($24) for a previous encounter, and on Saturday Maas went to his place of business to collect. An ensuing argument ended in Garma's murder.

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