Mar 20, 2012

Human Rights Abuses: Robbery motive rejected by supporters of Agnes Torres

Proceso: "Members of the Front for Diverse Sexuality of Tehuacan (FDXST) rejected the robbery of her car as the motive for the crime against activist Agnes Torres Hernandez, which occurred on Saturday, March 10. The state attorney general (PGJ), Victor Carrancá Bourget, presented four subjects, and named five suspects, among them a minor, as the alleged perpetrators of the murder. On Monday, FCSXT spokesman, Victor Rodriguez Lezama, said it should not be assumed that Torres Hernández was murdered by a group of youth because they wanted to steal her car, because there are elements that suggest that this was a hate crime.

... He mentioned that the main indicator is signs of torture of the activist's body, specifically cigarette burns on various parts of the body, especially in the face. He added that another source of doubts about robbery as a motive for the crime is that accused did not even try to sell the VW Golf car that that they took away from Agnes, but, instead, set it on fire.

Another contradiction that activist's friends have noted is that the PGJ insists that one of the alleged perpetrators of the murder, Zechinelli Jorge Flores, 18 years old, was the boyfriend of Agnes for a few days, but her friends and people close to her were unaware of her having a relationship or a partner. "We believe this is being invented to justify it as a crime of passion, so as not to declare that it was a hate murder, as it appears to be from the facts," said Rodriguez Ledezma.

Meanwhile, the Citizens' Watch on Sexual and Reproductive Rights called on the prosecutor´s office to promptly clarify the case, and warned that it should not overlook features of the crime as one of homophobia.

"We see the motivation of the crime a clear case of transphobia. We think that the choice of the victim was due to her high state of vulnerability, due to her own condition as a transsexual. In a country and a state that do not legally recognize transgendered identity, where there is a high level of discrimination and stigma towards the lives and occupations of trans people, they are easy victims of criminals," the organization said in a statement. It added: "Based on studies of hate crimes, we speak of a hate crime when a person who is socially devalued and hated is the victim of a crime, especially one that takes her life."" Spanish original

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