US hits new record for transgender killings. Puerto Rico is the epicenter of the violence.
USA Today via Yahoo News
By Marc Ramirez
May 6, 2021
But on April 13, 2020, Diaz was found beaten and hanged at a men’s correctional facility to which she’d been wrongfully assigned in Bayamon, becoming the ninth of what would be 44 transgender killings in the United States and its territories last year. It was the country’s deadliest year on record.
Nowhere has the crisis been more pronounced than in Puerto Rico, where 12 transgender victims, most of them women, were killed in a two-year span. The violence comes amid a shifting national debate on transgender rights and moves by the territory to deal with its long history of brutality against women.
Puerto Rico’s transgender community and its allies blame the killings on a mix of religious fundamentalism, transphobia, indifference from authorities and lingering economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Maria.
The culture looks down on trans and gays, it is a very macho society. It is a society where masculinity is worship and any feminine traits in males can lead to bullying and violence, in addition crimes against women are rampant.
Puerto Rico accounted for six of last year's 44 transgender killings. The victims ranged in age from 19 to 33. Most were shot multiple times. Two were burned in a car. One was stalked and killed on her birthday, the incident coldly documented on social media.
Only one case has produced arrests and it was handled not by Puerto Rico police but by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is prosecuting it under federal hate-crime charges.
Police, activists said, don’t treat such crimes seriously, consistently misgendering victims of violence, failing to collect data about anti-LGBTQ offenses and rarely applying hate crime laws.[...]In that sense, she said, the killings there should be considered “not as isolated events, but as part of a pattern of systematic elimination of trans individuals in the Latin American region.”
The ACLU reports that…
Puerto Rico has the highest per capita rate in the world of women over 14 killed by their partners. The numbers are disturbing, and climbing: 107 women were killed by their intimate partners in a five-year period from 2007 to 2011. The number of women killed by their intimate partners jumped significantly in 2011, to 30 women killed. That year, the number of women killed by their partners in Puerto Rico was six times higher than Los Angeles, which has about the same population of 3.7 million. In 2006, the PRPD reported 23 murders of women at the hands of their partners or spouses, placing Puerto Rico first on an international list comparing the number of women killed in each country/territory.And crimes against trans people just don’t show on their radar. If the police don’t care to investigate rapes, domestic violence, and murders of women how do you think we fare?
The ACLU documented cases of women killed by their partners and ex-partners who had repeatedly gone to the PRPD for help and were denied adequate assistance. Further, the PRPD is failing to ensure that women confronting domestic violence utilize the legal options available to them, and it is failing to enforce existing protective orders by arresting abusers who violate orders that are in place.