24 | MAR | 2019
Violence against Mexico’s transgender community goes unpunished
The indirect victims of murder against trans women, usually their friends and family members, usually suffer from discrimination during police investigations - Photo:

Violence against Mexico’s transgender community goes unpunished

16/10/2018
19:48
Newsroom
Mexico City
Carolina Romero
-A +A
56 transgender and transsexual people are killed in Mexico every year, according to Transgender Europe

Mexico ranks second in homicide rates against transgender and transsexual people, with 56 murders every year. Experts agree that hate, violence, discrimination, and criminalization towards this sector of the population are the main causes of such a high murder rate. Mexico is only second to Brazil, which registered 171 crimes against the transsexual and transgender communities, in a list of 71 countries.

The Observatory of Murder against Transsexual People, from the international organization Transgender Europe, which documents all cases of violence against this sector, has registered a total of 325 murders of transsexual persons between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017, out of which 267 happened in Latin America.

“In Mexico, the highest murder rate against trans women was registered in 2016, with a total of 80; second was 2017, with 68, followed by 2018, in which 47 murders have been registered so far,” stated Rocío Suárez, general director of the Support Center for Trans Identities.

Transgender women are one of the most vulnerable social groups in Mexico, next to homosexuals, and they are often subject to physical aggression due to their identity. The violence they endure ranges from death threats to physical harm, rape, and sexual harassment, according to the Executive Commission of Care Services for Victims (CEAV). Their more recent study on the care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual (LGBT) people in Mexico showed that both verbal and psychological violence were the most generalized forms of aggression.

“This type of murder occurs because of identity. Trans women are usually murdered in public spaces and there is often more than one assailant. They are attacked with fire arms and knives. Transsexual sex workers are the most vulnerable sector,” stated Alejandro Brito, head of the Letra S, Sida, Cultura, y Vida Cotidiana (AIDS, Culture, and Daily Life) association.

Both the Support Center and Letra S are dedicated to documenting these cases from journalistic notes in different media outlets, because “there isn’t a single prosecutor or attorney in the country to keep track of this type of murder, hate crimes against the LGBTTTI community in Mexico have not been acknowledged or typified and gender identity is not taken into account as a motive for murder,” stated Brito.

Veracruz is the most dangerous state for trans people: From 2007 to September 2018, 45 transgender women were murdered; 43 in Guerrero; 38 in the State of Mexico; 35 in Chihuahua; 26 in Baja California; another 26 in Puebla, and 24 in Mexico City, claimed Rocío.

“The bodies of murdered trans women are usually found lying on streets, highways, and public parks. The average age of the victims is 28, and most cases involve sex workers and hair stylists,” commented Rocío, adding that victims are not identified nor claimed by their families in over 50% of cases, which makes it more difficult to pursue justice, since there is no one to put pressure on authorities for the resolution of these crimes.

The indirect victims of murder against trans women, mostly their friends and family members, usually suffer from discrimination during investigations: “The first act of violence perpetrated by authorities is negligence regarding the victims’ identities. They immediately assume that they are men dressed as women, and even go as far as to justify the murders by saying that they 'tricked' their customers by 'posing as women.'" There are more anomalies surrounding these cases: Whenever a suspect is detained, their conduct is justified and they walk free, claimed the director of Letra S.
 

Artículo

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