Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

Law enforcement stated they had categorized the fatalities as a detest crime following remains of two ladies comprise present in a severely burned vehicle last week.

Each week after the bodies of two transgender female were found in a badly burned auto in Puerto Rico, the police mentioned Thursday that they had arrested two males regarding the the killings and had turned them to the F.B.I.

The people, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, were taken into custody on Wednesday but I have maybe not come energized, in accordance with Capt. Teddy Morales, the chief of criminal investigations for all the police in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east coast, in which the women’s remains happened to be available on April 22.

The guy said the F.B.I. got bought out the scenario and was actually investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for feasible civil-rights violations.

“We include classifying it a detest crime since they comprise interacting utilizing the victims, and when they revealed they were transgender females, they made a decision to kill them,” head Morales stated on Thursday.

The police mentioned these were waiting for autopsy results to determine how the ladies have been murdered. Activists has identified the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two company which lived in new york. Their own remains comprise found after individuals known as 911 to submit a burned vehicle under a bridge on a desolate path in Humacao, prior to 5 a.m. on April 22, Captain Morales said.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was basically interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez from the nights before they were murdered and happened to be recorded on one in the women’s social media marketing records, master Morales said.

He said law enforcement have additionally tied Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon to the killings through surveillance camera footage and “scientific research,” that he dropped to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to playing the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon transformed themselves in, he said.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for any F.B.I.’s San Juan area company, dropped to go over the arrests but said the bureau consistently collaborates with regional, state and federal companies.

“The Bureau was and certainly will often be enthusiastic about criminal behavior which might drop within federal legislation,” she said. “However, all of our plan try we do not confirm or deny the existence of investigations, to safeguard the integrity of every possible investigative energy.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon would never straight away become reached for discuss Thursday night, therefore had not been instantly clear should they got lawyers.

When the guys are recharged, it might express a turning point in the management of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, with a disturbing history of assault against homosexual and transgender anyone, activists said.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez happened to be the third and fourth transgender someone murdered in Puerto Rico within the last few two months, activists mentioned. These were additionally believed to be the 7th and eighth transgender or gender-nonconforming people to have-been slain in america this year, in accordance with the people liberties promotion.

Prior to now 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. people have come killed in Puerto Rico, per Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay liberties activist. Just about three on the fatalities remain unresolved, the guy said.

“These arrests is one step in best course, however these murders need to be prosecuted as hate crimes,” Mr. Serrano said. “We urge the federal government to finish the research into the various other seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. folk on the isle and serve justice for every of these.”

Ms. Velazquez stayed in Queens and Ms. Pelaez in Bronx. Both got lately journeyed to Puerto Rico, and are intending to travel returning to nyc later this thirty days, in accordance with family relations and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, stated Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon were detained after a local broadcast section submitted graphics of these on Twitter and people begun to call the station to recognize all of them.

“We are very appreciative for the operate the officials together with neighborhood input to obtain whom did this,” she said on Thursday.

She stated the images came from two clips that Ms. Pelaez had uploaded on her Snapchat and Twitter records, which demonstrated this lady and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we watched the films, plus it appeared like these people were spending some time together as friends,” she said. “It felt normal. There seemed to be sounds playing in the background. Everybody Else appeared good.”

She stated law enforcement had shared with her group only your men had been in federal guardianship.

The killings emerged a month after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender guy, is murdered in Moca, P.R., in accordance with the Human legal rights Campaign.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a popular figure on Puerto Rico social media marketing who was transgender and homeless, got shot to passing after a McDonald’s customer complained that Ms. Negron have spied on her from inside the women’s place.

Ms. Negron’s final moments — presented during the headlights of an automible amid a cackle of fun — had been uploaded on social networking, a fact that activists said underscored the impunity homophobic attackers think whenever committing this type of criminal activities.

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