A homeless transgender woman was brutally murdered in Puerto Rico early Monday.
Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, a Puerto
Rican LGBTQ advocacy groups, confirmed media reports that said the victim, who
was known as Alexa, was killed in a park in Toa Baja, a municipality that is about
15 miles west of San Juan.
Serrano told the Washington Blade that police on Sunday night responded to a report Alexa was “peeping” on people in a public restroom. David Begnaud of CBS News reported the person who filed the complaint declined to press charges against Alexa after they learned she was homeless.
‘Alexa’ was a transgender woman killed in Puerto Rico after social media posts accused her of peeping on people in a public bathroom. Police found no proof. The complainant didn’t file charges after finding out Alexa was homeless. Despite that a narrative spread on social media. pic.twitter.com/xknfGH7HRD
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) February 25, 2020
Alexa was killed a few hours after police responded to the report.
Local media outlets indicate Alexa’s murder was captured on video.
“We’re urging authorities to investigate the hate angle in this
horrific case,” Serrano told the Blade in a statement. “We don’t know
all the details yet, but she was harassed, hunted and brutally killed.”
“There’s no doubt that transphobia and intolerance had much to
do in this case,” added Serrano. “Trans people are human beings that
deserve to live with respect, peace and dignity.”
Investigators have yet to classify Alexa’s murder as a hate crime,
but Gov. Wanda Vázquez in a tweet
said “no motive will be discarded.” Vázquez also urged anyone with
information to contact the Puerto Rico Police Department.
“The (Puerto Rico Police Department) will work with the
diligence and sensibility that this case merits,” she said.
Puerto Rico’s hate crimes and nondiscrimination laws include both gender identity and sexual orientation. Anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination are nevertheless commonplace in the U.S. commonwealth.
Serrano and other Puerto Rican LGBTQ activists with whom the Blade
has spoken say Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September 2017,
has made LGBTQ Puerto Ricans even more vulnerable to violence and
“Transgender people and LGBTTIQ people are human beings like
anyone else,” said Serrano in a press release. “We deserve respect
for our lives and our identities without fear of being persecuted, prosecuted and
Published at Tue, 25 Feb 2020 03:14:41 +0000