Missing trans activist and doctor María Elizabeth Montaño found dead in Mexico

The IMSS doctor was missing since June 8

Missing trans activist and doctor María Elizabeth Montaño found dead in Mexico
English 19/06/2020 12:50 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 08:18
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Through social media, people are mourning the death of Dr. María Elizabeth Montaño, who worked at the Siglo XXI National Medical Center of the Mexican Institute for Social Security and who was missing since June 8.

Her family reported her as missing on June 10 at Mexico City's Attorney General's Office.

The body of the trans doctor and LGBT+ activist was found on Thursday afternoon on the side of the México-Cuernavaca highway, near Tres Marías in the Huitzilac municipality.

She was last seen leaving her work in Mexico City’s Doctores neighborhood. She was found 10 days later wearing the same clothes she was last seen with. Upon finding her cellphone and wallet, police presume it was not a robbery. Moreover, they said she did not present marks of beatings.

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“We deeply mourn the death of Dr. María Elizabeth Montaño, a trans woman who worked at the IMSS. We’ll follow up on the inquiry into her death. We affirm our commitment to the fight against violence, transphobia, and impunity,” said Mexico City’s Human Rights Undersecretariat.

People condemned the violent act in social media and labeled it as transphobia, while senator Citlali Hernández, from the Morena party, urged to deepen the debate about discrimination and hate, as well “as pointing out reality and raising awareness.”

On Friday, Morelos Attorney General’s Office (FGE) concluded the autopsy of María Elizabeth Montaño’s body, who was 47 years old, and strengthened the hypothesis on suicide through drug ingestion.

The FGE informed it would perform pathology studies and sent tissue samples to specialized laboratories to define the ingested substances and the damage to the organs that caused the death.

“Within the current investigations, and according to testimonies of relatives, María Elizabeth had manifested her will to deprive herself of life and it was through an e-mail scheduled on time after her disappearance, that she left a posthumous message to her relatives,” said the FGE in a statement.

The agency said it is working with its Mexico City counterpart to deliver the remains of the doctor to her family while it provides scientific results to Mexico City authorities that will be included in the corresponding investigation file.

The FGE’s report said the doctor’s body had been found along with a backpack and a purse with personal belongings, as well as IDs, cash money, a bank card, a cellphone, two resealable bags with different unlabeled pills, and two bottles of water, among other items.

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