Transgender activist Agnes Torres found dead in Puebla, Mexico
Mexican transgender rights advocate Anges Torres was found dead last Saturday in a ravine in Atlixco, just outside of her home town of Puebla, Mexico. The writer and activist for LGBT human rights had been missing since Friday night. Friends and sympathizers are calling for a swift investigation into the crime.
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The coroner reported that Agnes Torres Sulca, 28, had had her neck slashed, and her body showed burn marks, indicating that she had been tortured, according to Mexico news site Proceso.com.mx. “It is presumed to have been a hate crime,” the website reported.
“We condemn this crime against a woman, an academic, a psychologist, educator, role model and activist for human rights for women in general and for sexual diversity as a whole,” the Puebla-based organization Vida Plena Puebla. “We are distraught, pained, enraged and saddened by this crime, and feel powerless over how, yet again, a brave person has succumbed to the most brutal of gender-based violence… in this case, violence against a transgender woman.” The organization demanded in their statement that Torres’s murder case be treated the same way as that of “the daughter of any governor, politician, or attorney” and that it be solved swiftly.
The organization had presented before the State Congress on the importance of legislation for sexual diversity and recognition of hate as an exacerbating factor in these cases, particularly of “feminicide” – a word coined in Mexico to refer to specifically to violence targeted at women that ends in murder, which has reached endemic proportions in the country. There have been 6 similar unsolved homicides in the state since the beginning of 2012.
The murder of Agnes Torres has generated an unprecedented amount of social media posts, according to Proceso, with hundreds of people calling for a swift resolution to her case’s investigation, and to express their outrage at the crime. “It’s a simple fact that in Mexico activism is suppressed and punished, this is is just one more on the list of injustices,” one Twitter post read. At 4 pm today in Puebla, mourners will gather in the main square of Puebla to observe a minute of silence for Agnes Torres, and begin public pressure on the state prosecutor to find her killer or killers and bring them to justice.