Puerto Rican authorities arrest suspect in motel murder

by Michael K. Lavers

National News Editor

Monday December 21, 2009

Puerto Rican authorities arrested a man over the weekend in connection with a fatal stabbing inside a local motel.

El Nuevo Dia reported police took Luis Díaz Rodríguez, 34, into custody late Saturday. He faces first degree and a handful of weapons and other charges in connection with Fernando Vargas López de Victoria's murder inside Motel Las Colinas in Ponce on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Investigator Richard Nazario told the newspaper Díaz and López arrived at the hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 15. He said the two men began to smoke crack inside their room. And Díaz allegedly stabbed López more than 20 times after they had an argument.

As EDGE reported, Pedro Julio Serrano of Puerto Rico Para [email protected] had urged authorities to investigate López's death as a hate crime in the wake of gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado's brutal murder near Cayey last month.

Díaz remains in a Ponce jail on $800,000 bail.

Based in Washington, D.C., Michael K. Lavers has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, WNYC, Huffington Post, Village Voice, Advocate and other mainstream and LGBT media outlets. He is an unapologetic political junkie who thoroughly enjoys living inside the Beltway.