We Can No Longer Turn a Blind Eye to Murders of Transgender Women in Mexico
People pay tribute to murdered transsexual Alessa Flores (Agence France-Presse)
The exoneration of Trayvon Martin’s killer in 2013 sparked the #BlackLivesMatter protests and movement. What started out as a public discussion about the murder of black people by police in the United States has evolved into a movement denouncing the dehumanization of black lives and calling for their rights. This resistance movement revealed that racism did not end with the abolition of segregation laws, and that its victims still suffer in various ways depending on whether they are women, gay, differently-abled, or immigrants.
Paola Ledezma, Itzel Durán and Alessa Flores are the names of three transgender women murdered in Mexico in the past two weeks. The responsibility for these murders goes beyond those who shot, stabbed and strangled them. We are complicit as a society. At least 265 trans people have been killed in Mexico since 1995. And we should take responsibility.
According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, hate crimes are directed at specific groups, have a symbolic impact and take place in a permissive social context.
Those who commit acts of violence against trans women intend to punish them for having identities and bodies that differ from what we have traditionally been told about what it means to be a man or a woman.
The murders of Paola, Itzel and Alessa impact all trans women: They are tragic reminders that trans women in Mexico run the risk of being murdered even before turning 35. Such incidents turn us into accomplices. Why does Paola’s coffin need to block traffic to remind us that the lives of trans people matter?
Read the rest at The Huffington Post | Español
Related: Second Trans Youth Found Murdered in Mexico City in October (El Universal)
Related: Lap Dancing for the Cartels: Sex Work and Survival on Mexico's Streets (The Daily Beast)
Related: Mexico Is Hell for Transgender Women (West)
Related: 84, and Living in Fear: Mexican LGBTQ Residents Still Face Backlash, Even After Reforms (Salon)
Related: France Removes Sterilization Requirement for Transgender Individuals (Jurist)
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