Two detained in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

Two detained in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

Law enforcement stated they had labeled the fatalities as a hate criminal activity after the remains of two females were present in a badly burned car last week.

A week following figures of two transgender lady comprise found in a poorly burned auto in Puerto Rico, the authorities said Thursday that they had detained two people relating to the killings along with turned all of them up to the F.B.I.

The boys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, had been taken into guardianship on Wednesday but I have perhaps not already been energized, per Capt. Teddy Morales, the main of criminal escort girl Kansas City investigations when it comes to authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east shore, in which the women’s remains happened to be entirely on April 22.

The guy said the F.B.I. had absorbed your situation and got investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for feasible civil-rights violations.

“We tend to be classifying it as a hate criminal activity because they had been interacting making use of victims, as soon as they found out these were transgender women, they made a decision to eliminate all of them,” Captain Morales said on Thursday.

Law enforcement mentioned they certainly were looking forward to autopsy brings about determine how the ladies had been slain. Activists have identified the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies just who stayed in new york. Their particular remains happened to be discover after one labeled as 911 to report a burned auto under a bridge on a desolate path in Humacao, just before 5 a.m. on April 22, head Morales stated.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was indeed socializing with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez regarding the evening before these people were killed and are tape-recorded on a single on the women’s social networking profile, chief Morales said.

He mentioned law enforcement have furthermore fastened Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon toward killings through surveillance camera video footage and “scientific proof,” that he decreased to outline. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to playing the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched himself in, the guy stated.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for any F.B.I.’s San Juan field company, decreased to talk about the arrests but stated the bureau consistently collaborates with regional, county and national firms.

“The Bureau try and can be thinking about violent behavior that might fall within national jurisdiction,” she stated. “However, our very own coverage was we do not verify or deny the presence of investigations, to safeguard the stability of any feasible investigative work.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon could not straight away end up being hit for touch upon Thursday night, and it also was not right away obvious if they had attorneys.

When the guys are charged, it could express a flipping reason for the management of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, with a disturbing reputation for violence against homosexual and transgender men, activists said.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez had been the next and fourth transgender someone slain in Puerto Rico within the last two months, activists mentioned. They certainly were additionally thought to be the 7th and eighth transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals to have-been slain in the usa this season, in line with the Human legal rights strategy.

In the past 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. men and women have been killed in Puerto Rico, per Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay legal rights activist. Just about three regarding the deaths stays unresolved, he mentioned.

“These arrests include one step for the right movement, but these murders have to be prosecuted as hate crimes,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We urge government entities to finish the investigations inside the more seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. people throughout the area and offer fairness regarding ones.”

Ms. Velazquez lived-in Queens and Ms. Pelaez in the Bronx. Both had not too long ago traveled to Puerto Rico, as well as were intending to travel back again to nyc afterwards this period, per relatives and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s cousin, stated Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon were arrested after a regional broadcast section uploaded graphics ones on fb and folks started to contact the station to spot them.

“We tend to be awesome appreciative regarding the operate that authorities and also the people invest locate just who did this,” she said on Thursday.

She stated the photographs came from two films that Ms. Pelaez have submitted on her behalf Snapchat and fb profile, which showed the lady and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we spotted the video clips, and it appeared like these people were spending some time collectively as pals,” she stated. “It felt normal. There is sounds playing into the credentials. Everyone Else appeared great.”

She stated law enforcement had told her family just that males comprise in national guardianship.

The killings arrived four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender people, was slain in Moca, P.R., according to research by the peoples Rights promotion.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a well-known figure on Puerto Rico social media who was simply transgender and homeless, was actually recorded to passing after a McDonald’s consumer complained that Ms. Negron have spied on the into the women’s area.

Ms. Negron’s final times — presented during the headlights of an auto amid a cackle of laughter — are posted on social networking, an undeniable fact that activists stated underscored the impunity homophobic assailants feel whenever committing these crimes.

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