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Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

The police mentioned they’d labeled the deaths as a detest crime after the keeps of two women are within a severely burned vehicle a week ago.

Each week following figures of two transgender female comprise found in a poorly burned car in Puerto Rico, law enforcement stated Thursday which they got arrested two guys associated with the killings together with switched them to the F.B.I.

The guys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, comprise taken into guardianship on Wednesday but I have maybe not been billed, according to Capt. Teddy Morales, the chief of unlawful research for your authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east shore, the spot where the women’s remains were entirely on April 22.

He mentioned the F.B.I. have taken over the fact and had been investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil-rights violations.

“We tend to be classifying it as a dislike crime since they were interacting making use of the subjects, and when they revealed these people were transgender lady, they decided to kill all of them,” chief Morales mentioned on Thursday.

Law enforcement mentioned they certainly were waiting for autopsy leads to figure out how the ladies were slain. Activists bring identified the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies which lived in nyc. Their unique stays comprise discover after an individual also known as 911 to submit a burned vehicles under a bridge on a desolate highway in Humacao, right before 5 a.m. on April 22, Captain Morales said.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was basically socializing with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez throughout the night before these people were slain and comprise taped using one of the women’s social media marketing reports, head Morales stated.

He mentioned the authorities got additionally tied Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon into the killings through surveillance camera footage and “scientific facts,” which he dropped to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to playing the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon transformed themselves in, the guy said.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for any F.B.I.’s San Juan industry office, declined to talk about the arrests but mentioned the bureau consistently collaborates with regional, state and national organizations.

“The Bureau are and certainly will continually be interested in criminal conduct which could drop within national legislation,” she said. “However, our policy is we really do not confirm or reject the presence of investigations, to protect the stability of any feasible investigative effort.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon cannot straight away become reached for comment on Thursday nights, therefore wasn’t immediately clear as long as they got solicitors.

In the event that guys are recharged, it may express a flipping reason for the handling of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. folks in Puerto Rico, which includes a disturbing reputation for assault against gay https://www.datingmentor.org/cs/livejasmin-recenze and transgender people, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez are the 3rd and 4th transgender men slain in Puerto Rico within the last two months, activists stated. They were furthermore considered the 7th and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming people to have-been killed in the usa this season, in accordance with the person Rights strategy.

In the past 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. people have come slain in Puerto Rico, based on Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay liberties activist. All but three of fatalities stays unsolved, the guy stated.

“These arrests were a step within the proper path, nevertheless these murders need to be prosecuted as dislike criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano mentioned. “We desire the federal government in order to complete the research inside various other seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. folks on island and serve fairness for several of those.”

Ms. Velazquez lived-in Queens and Ms. Pelaez during the Bronx. Both have lately moved to Puerto Rico, plus they had been likely to fly returning to ny after this period, according to members of the family and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, said Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon comprise arrested after a regional radio station posted photographs of them on Facebook and other people started to call the section to recognize all of them.

“We were very appreciative associated with the work that authorities in addition to area invest to obtain whom did this,” she stated on Thursday.

She stated the images originated from two videos that Ms. Pelaez have uploaded on her behalf Snapchat and Facebook accounts, which demonstrated the woman and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“I watched the films, plus it appeared like they were spending some time collectively as pals,” she stated. “It appeared typical. There was music playing during the credentials. Everyone Else appeared okay.”

She mentioned the authorities had informed her group merely the men happened to be in national guardianship.

The killings arrived a month after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender guy, was actually killed in Moca, P.R., based on the Human Rights strategy.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social media marketing who was simply transgender and homeless, ended up being recorded to demise after a McDonald’s visitors reported that Ms. Negron got spied on her behalf during the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s best times — framed during the headlights of a car amid a cackle of laughter — happened to be published on social media, an undeniable fact that activists stated underscored the impunity homophobic assailants feel when committing such crimes.

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