General News

Two trans women murdered in Mexico

Rachel Badham September 11, 2020

A Pride event in Mexico.

Leslie Rocha is the second known Mexican trans woman to have been murdered within the last week after she was killed in Cuidad Juarez on Saturday 5 September. Another trans woman, Mireya Rodriguez Lemus, was murdered earlier in the week in the town of Aquiles Serdan, leading a transgender civil society group to protest in demand for greater governmental protection of the Mexican trans community.

An anonymous trans woman in Cuidad Juarez told Reuters the events have left the trans community ‘terrified’ to go out onto the streets of Mexico, adding ‘we don’t know what to do anymore because there are so many hate crimes against the trans population’. Trans activist Deborah Alvarez also spoke to Reuters, saying it was disappointing to see the trans community still weren’t ‘being defended’ by authorities.

117 LGBTQ+ people were killed in Mexico last year according to local advocacy group Letra S. This was the highest number of deaths since 2015 and it is likely that not all murders and occurrences of violence were reported. Although same-sex marriage and adoption is legal in the country, there are few regulations that protect the trans community from discrimination. A 2019 study found that Mexico is the ‘second deadliest country in the world’ for trans people after Brazil; nearly half of all LGBTQ+ people murdered in Mexico are transgender.

There are currently no leads on was responsible for the murders of Rocha or Rodriguez Lemus. Mexican police have yet to comment on the killings.