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Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

The authorities mentioned that they had classified the deaths as a hate crime following stays of two people had been present a poorly burned vehicles last week.

Weekly following body of two transgender lady comprise within a severely burned auto in Puerto Rico, the police mentioned Thursday that they had arrested two guys regarding the the killings and had turned all of them to the F.B.I.

The boys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, are used into custody on Wednesday but I have perhaps not become recharged, per Capt. Teddy Morales, the main of criminal research when it comes down to police in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s eastern shore, in which the women’s stays had been entirely on April 22.

The guy stated the F.B.I. got bought out the way it is and is exploring Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil rights violations.

“We include classifying it a hate crime since they happened to be interacting with all the victims, as soon as they discovered they were transgender ladies, they chose to eliminate them,” master Morales said on Thursday.

The police mentioned they certainly were waiting for autopsy leads to decide how the ladies was indeed murdered. Activists has determined the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two company just who lived in nyc. Her stays were discover after individuals called 911 to document a burned vehicle under a bridge on a desolate roadway in Humacao, right before 5 a.m. on April 22, Captain Morales mentioned.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez throughout the evening before they were slain and happened to be recorded using one on the women’s social media accounts, head Morales said.

The guy said the police had in addition tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon on killings through security camera video footage and “scientific evidence,” which he declined to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to taking part in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon turned himself in, he mentioned.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman when it comes down to F.B.I.’s San Juan industry workplace, decreased to discuss the arrests but said the bureau regularly collaborates with local, state and national companies.

“The Bureau try and certainly will continually be enthusiastic about criminal run that might fall within national jurisdiction,” she mentioned. “However, all of our coverage is we do not verify or refute the existence of investigations kyrgyzstan dating website, to protect the integrity of every feasible investigative efforts.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon could not immediately be hit for comment on Thursday nights, and it was not right away clear should they got attorneys.

In the event that guys are billed, it may signify a turning part of the maneuvering of crimes against L.G.B.T.Q. folks in Puerto Rico, which has a disturbing reputation of physical violence against gay and transgender everyone, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez had been the next and next transgender men and women murdered in Puerto Rico within the last two months, activists mentioned. They certainly were also considered the 7th and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming men and women to happen murdered in the United States this current year, according to research by the individual liberties promotion.

Previously 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. people have already been slain in Puerto Rico, based on Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay liberties activist. Just about three on the fatalities stay unresolved, he said.

“These arrests become one step from inside the correct course, nevertheless these murders need to be prosecuted as detest crimes,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We desire government entities to finish the research from inside the more seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. visitors in the area and offer fairness for all of them.”

Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez into the Bronx. Both have lately traveled to Puerto Rico, and so they had been about to fly returning to ny afterwards this month, relating to loved ones and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, mentioned Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon were detained after a nearby broadcast place posted pictures of them on Twitter and other people began to call the section to understand all of them.

“We become awesome appreciative regarding the services your officials and people devote to track down whom performed this,” she mentioned on Thursday.

She said the photographs came from two videos that Ms. Pelaez got uploaded on the Snapchat and fb reports, which confirmed the girl and Ms. Velazquez interacting with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we watched the movies, also it seemed like these were spending some time along as company,” she mentioned. “It seemed normal. There seemed to be musical playing for the back ground. Anyone felt okay.”

She stated the police got told her household just your people happened to be in national guardianship.

The killings came a month after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender man, was killed in Moca, P.R., in accordance with the person liberties strategy.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social media who was simply transgender and homeless, ended up being shot to passing after a McDonald’s consumer complained that Ms. Negron got spied on her within the women’s place.

Ms. Negron’s best moments — framed inside the headlights of a vehicle amid a cackle of fun — comprise submitted on social media marketing, an undeniable fact that activists mentioned underscored the impunity homophobic attackers become when committing such criminal activities.

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