A renowned architect and anti-discrimination campaigner has been found dead after a brutal attack, with investigators saying the late victim was stabbed as many as 70 times.
Pablo Fullana Borsato was found dead in his house in Colón, Buenos Aires Province, on Sunday night, between 10pm and 11pm. The body of the 36-year-old architect, known equally for his vanguard design style as his LGBTQ activism, was found by his cousin. The murder is believed to have taken place earlier that day.
Police already have a potential suspect for the crime. Officers arrested an 18-year-old man earlier Sunday night, before finding the body, on allegations he groped an older woman on public transit. They later had reason to name him a suspect in the death of Bosato, according to reporting from the website El Faro, which cited blood stains on his clothing.
Borsato's death currently being investigated as a homicide. Fellow activists and friends of Borsato were quick to declare the killing a hate crime motivated by homophobia.
Police sources, however, told the Noticias Argentinas news agency that current information points to a motive involving sexual aggression, robbery and addiction. Reporting from El Faro, however, citing unnamed sources, said there was money found near the body, a fact that would undermine the robbery line of invesigation.
Noticias Argentinas also reported that when the body of Borsato was discovered, it was partially nude, wearing only a t-shirt.
Inside the home, at the crime scene, the police found blood stains, a knife and a broken alcohol bottle, which they believe could point to a fight between the victim and his assailant. Local reports on Tuesday said the sole of the suspect's shoe closely resembled the footprints found in the home and that he had a cracked champagne bottle in his backpack that matched the remains found at the crime scene.
Borsato, a prominent LGBTQ campaigner, is the creator of the Open Sky Museum “Wilmar Uneo,” located in the northern zone of Buenos Aires Province, set to open later this month.
Tributes poured in Tuesday, with posts on social networks and websites appearing en masse.
“For many of his colleagues, Pablo signified salvation in some aspects. He expressed his willingness to fight in a euphoric manner and he sustained ideas that could sound utopian for those who weren’t familiar with them, but whose foundations came from an unstoppable source of pride and conviction,” wrote one fellow unnamed activist on the LGBTQ site LaTetera.
“His projects always focused on the freedom and the visibility of the marginalised, placing emphasis on his trans colleagues and intending to employ inclusion in every activity or idea he proposed. This crime speaks much more to the reality that we have to demand, it shows us the danger that is there to greet any vulnerable human beings, it makes us open our eyes and call for justice on behalf of those who can’t,” it finished.
The Municipality of Colón released a statement expressing “profound pain” about Borsato’s death.