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.
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.q