Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

The police said they’d labeled the deaths as a dislike crime following stays of two girls happened to be present in a defectively burned vehicle last week.

Weekly following the figures of two transgender female are present in a poorly burned auto in Puerto Rico, the police mentioned Thursday they got detained two men associated with the killings together with transformed them up to the F.B.I.

The people, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, had been taken into custody on Wednesday but I have maybe not already been billed, based on Capt. Teddy Morales, the principle of unlawful research for any authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east coast, where in actuality the women’s stays are entirely on April 22.

The guy mentioned the F.B.I. have absorbed the case and was examining Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for feasible civil-rights violations.

“We include classifying it as a hate crime since they happened to be interacting utilizing the sufferers, as soon as they found out these were transgender female, they decided to eliminate all of them,” Captain Morales mentioned on Thursday.

The authorities said they were waiting for autopsy results to determine how the ladies was slain. Activists posses recognized the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two family who lived-in nyc. Their own stays had been receive after one also known as 911 to submit a burned vehicle under a bridge on a desolate path in Humacao, right before 5 a.m. on April 22, master Morales stated.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was indeed interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez in the nights before they certainly were killed and happened to be recorded using one with the women’s social media accounts, master Morales stated.

The guy stated the authorities had also tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon towards killings through surveillance camera video footage and “scientific evidence,” which he dropped to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to taking part in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched themselves in, he stated.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman when it comes down to F.B.I.’s San Juan industry office, declined to talk about the arrests but said the bureau regularly collaborates with neighborhood, state and national organizations.

“The Bureau is and will often be interested in unlawful conduct which might drop within federal jurisdiction,” she said. “However, our coverage is actually we really do not confirm or reject the existence of investigations, to safeguard the stability of every possible investigative efforts.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon couldn’t instantly be hit for discuss Thursday night, and it also had not been instantly clear should they have solicitors.

In the event the men are billed, it could represent a flipping point in the control of crimes against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, which includes a disturbing reputation for violence against homosexual and transgender people, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez were the next and 4th transgender people killed in Puerto Rico in the past two months, activists mentioned. These people were in addition believed to be the seventh and eighth transgender or gender-nonconforming men and women to being murdered in the us in 2010, based on the Human legal rights promotion.

Before 15 period, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. men and women have come killed in Puerto Rico, according to Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay rights activist. All but three of deaths continue to be unsolved, he said.

“These arrests are one step in correct movement, nevertheless these murders have to be prosecuted as hate criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano mentioned. “We need the government to complete the investigations during the different seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. folks on the island and provide fairness regarding of them.”

Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez in Bronx. Both had lately journeyed to Puerto Rico, and comprise intending to travel returning to ny afterwards this month, per family relations and activists hinge answers reddit.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s cousin, mentioned Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon had been arrested after a local radio station uploaded imagery of those on Twitter and folks started initially to phone the facility to understand all of them.

“We were awesome appreciative of services that authorities in addition to neighborhood input to find who performed this,” she said on Thursday.

She mentioned the images came from two video clips that Ms. Pelaez have submitted on her Snapchat and myspace reports, which showed her and Ms. Velazquez interacting with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“I saw the video, therefore appeared like they were spending some time with each other as family,” she said. “It seemed regular. There was tunes playing from inside the history. Every Person seemed great.”

She said the police got told her family members just that people were in national custody.

The killings emerged four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender guy, was killed in Moca, P.R., according to research by the person liberties Campaign.

In March, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social media who had been transgender and homeless, had been shot to demise after a McDonald’s client complained that Ms. Negron got spied on the in the women’s room.

Ms. Negron’s final minutes — framed when you look at the headlights of an automible amid a cackle of laughter — are submitted on social networking, a fact that activists said underscored the impunity homophobic attackers think when committing this type of crimes.

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