Chiapas: Denunciation of police violence against trans* individuals in Palenque

December 26, 2015

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Protest carried out by the Network for the Inclusion of Sexual Diversity in Chiapas to denounce impunity in cases against LGBTQI persons. Photo: @Chiapas Paralelo

The Popular Campaign against Violence against Women and Femicide in Chiapas released a pronunciation denouncing the violence exercised by municipal police during the arrest of two trans* women in Palenque. In this document, those undersigned express their solidarity “amidst the violence that municipal police of Palenque exercised on 19 November against trans* women and that has continued now for several days.”

According to the communique, five trans* youth were taking photos in front of a club in Palenque when they were surrounded by five patrol-cars from the municipal police that arrested them arbitrarily, “treating them cruelly, inhumanely, and in a degrading fashion.” These acts gave evidence to the violation of their “right to non-discrimination, recognition of their juridical person, and to their personal integrity.” The denunciation includes testimony from one of those arrested, explaining how in the police offices she was disrobed and had her genitals examined, an experience that was reproduced for all the others, she said.

Since that night, the women have denounced police persecution against them on the charge of prostitution. As they note, “this happens every year; it is nothing new. There are times when they terrorize and mock us more; this year it was the same.” In this sense, the Campaign denounces the human-rights violations experienced daily in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and intersexual communities (LGBTQI). “As a campaign we stress the fact that those who are obliged to protect the integrity of persons such as the municipal police of Palenque are in reality the ones who violate the rights of the people and put their lives most at risk.”

In this sense, the Inter-American Commission on Human rights (IACHR) published in November 2015 a report on violence that expresses concern for police abuse against LGBTQI individuals, “given that this leads others to think that they can hurt others without punishment if they have different sexual orientations or gender identities.” In this way, the Network for Inclusion of Sexual Diversity in Chiapas denounced that in the last two years, there have been 24 murders of gays in the state, all of which continue in impunity. It is worth mentioning the recent arrest of trans* persons in Comitán, who according to Chiapas Paralelo were arrested, bound for 18 hours, and threatened with lynching and being burned alive with gasoline after having been unjustly accused of robbery.

For more information (in Spanish):

Pronunciamiento contra violencia ejercida de Policías Municipales al momento de detener mujeres Transexuales de Palenque (Espoir Chiapas, 16 de diciembre de 2015)

Intentan linchar a jóvenes “trans” en Comitán. Procuraduría se niega a intervenir (Chiapas Paralelo, 18 de noviembre de 2015)

Al menos 24 crímenes por homofobia ocurridos en Chiapas en los últimos dos años siguen impunes, denuncian (Chiapas Paralelo, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

Violencia contra personas LGBTI (Acnur, noviembre de 2015)

Violencia contra personas LGBTI: altos niveles de ensañamiento y crueldad (Adital, 17 de noviembre de 2015)

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Guerrero: Brutal murder of LGBT activist in Chilpancingo

May 6, 2011

Photo @CENCOS

In the early morning of Wednesday 4 April, the director of the Center of Studies and Projects for Wholesome Human Development (CEPRODEHI), Quetzalcoatl Leija Herrera, was brutally murdered in the central plaza of Chilpancingo.  According to the director of the Ministerial Police, Fernando Monreal Levya, it is presumed that the president of CEPRODEHI resisted upon being assaulted after having withdrawn money from an automated machine, but a clearer idea about the motives of the crime are unclear.  The spokesperson of CEPRODEHI, Emiliano Arzeta García, did not hesitate to call the murder a “homophobic” act, and he demanded that the authorities do justice for the killing.

Leija Herrera, 33 years old, was active in the movement of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT movement).  In 2009 he contributed to working for the passage of the Law against Discrimination as well as the Law of Cohabitation and had planned to try to promote the Law in favor of gay adoption.  He also carried out a number of actions together with organizations and homosexuals from all over the state.  Emiliano García Arzeta, in name of CEPRODEHI and the community of sexual diversity, manifested his disapproval of the action by expressing that “we are very worried, saddened, and preoccupied.  This hurts us greatly: Quetzalcóatl was our leader, the leader of diversity through CEPRODEHI […].  He worked in favor of all of us by means of dialogue and politics; he was a person with great intelligence and character.  Without him we truly feel disarmed.”  The Comission for the Defense of Human Rights (CODDEHUM) from Guerrero requested that the appropriate authorities carry out an investigation rapidly and effectively that will disallow impunity in the case.  Quetzalcoatl’s body was buried on Thursday 5 May at 4pm in the new pantheon of Chilpancingo.

For more information (in Spanish):

Activista LGBT asesinado en Guerrero México (CENCOS, 4 May)

Asesinan a golpes al defensor de derechos lésbico-gay Quetzalcóatl Leija en la capital (Sur Acapulco, 5 May)

Matan a activista gay a golpes en la capital de Guerrero: Notiese (La Jornada, 4 May)

Exige legislador a la PGJE aclarar y castigar el asesinato de activista(Agencia IRZA, 4 May)

Exigen activistas esclarecer asesinato de Quetzalcóatl Leija (Diario Avanzada, 4 May)