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Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

Law enforcement mentioned that Gay dating they had classified the deaths as a hate crime following the remains of two ladies had been found in a poorly burned vehicles last week.

Each week after the system of two transgender females comprise found in a severely burned vehicles in Puerto Rico, the authorities said Thursday that they have detained two people relating to the killings together with transformed all of them to the F.B.I.

The men, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, were used into guardianship on Wednesday but have maybe not come energized, per Capt. Teddy Morales, the main of criminal investigations for all the police in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s eastern coastline, the spot where the women’s stays were found on April 22.

The guy said the F.B.I. have bought out the situation and ended up being examining Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil-rights violations.

“We tend to be classifying it a hate crime since they happened to be socializing together with the sufferers, as soon as they learned they certainly were transgender females, they chose to kill all of them,” chief Morales stated on Thursday.

Law enforcement mentioned these were waiting for autopsy brings about decide how the women was basically slain. Activists have identified the ladies as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two company just who stayed in nyc. Their own keeps happened to be located after one called 911 to report a burned vehicle under a bridge on a desolate path in Humacao, right before 5 a.m. on April 22, head Morales stated.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon have been interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez on night before these were slain and comprise taped on a single of the women’s social media marketing reports, Captain Morales stated.

He mentioned the authorities have in addition tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon into the killings through security camera footage and “scientific proof,” that he decreased to outline. Mr. Pagan Bonilla confessed to playing the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon transformed themselves in, he said.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman when it comes down to F.B.I.’s San Juan field workplace, dropped to talk about the arrests but said the bureau consistently collaborates with local, condition and federal firms.

“The Bureau was and will always be interested in violent behavior that may drop within federal jurisdiction,” she stated. “However, our policy try we really do not confirm or reject the presence of investigations, to guard the integrity of any possible investigative energy.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon couldn’t straight away getting attained for comment on Thursday evening, and it wasn’t instantly obvious if they got lawyers.

If men are recharged, it can express a flipping point in the control of crimes against L.G.B.T.Q. folks in Puerto Rico, with a disturbing history of physical violence against homosexual and transgender someone, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez were the third and last transgender people murdered in Puerto Rico within the last few 2 months, activists mentioned. They certainly were furthermore considered to be the 7th and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals happen murdered in the usa this year, in accordance with the people legal rights strategy.

Prior to now 15 months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. people have come killed in Puerto Rico, according to Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay rights activist. Just about three regarding the fatalities continue to be unsolved, he stated.

“These arrests tend to be a step from inside the right direction, nevertheless these murders need to be prosecuted as dislike crimes,” Mr. Serrano said. “We need the federal government to finish the investigations for the some other seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. everyone throughout the area and offer justice regarding of those.”

Ms. Velazquez stayed in Queens and Ms. Pelaez during the Bronx. Both have lately moved to Puerto Rico, and they happened to be about to travel to New York later on this month, based on family unit members and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, mentioned Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon happened to be arrested after a regional radio section published artwork of those on myspace and people began to phone the facility to spot them.

“We were very appreciative associated with the services the authorities while the neighborhood invest to obtain who did this,” she said on Thursday.

She mentioned the photographs came from two movies that Ms. Pelaez had uploaded on the Snapchat and myspace accounts, which revealed the woman and Ms. Velazquez interacting with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we spotted the video, therefore appeared like they certainly were spending some time along as friends,” she mentioned. “It appeared typical. There clearly was tunes playing when you look at the history. People seemed good.”

She mentioned law enforcement have told her parents only your guys are in national guardianship.

The killings arrived 30 days after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender guy, is murdered in Moca, P.R., according to the peoples liberties promotion.

In March, Alexa Negron Luciano, a popular figure on Puerto Rico social media who was transgender and homeless, was actually shot to death after a McDonald’s client reported that Ms. Negron have spied on her behalf when you look at the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s last minutes — framed inside the headlights of a motor vehicle amid a cackle of fun — comprise uploaded on social media, an undeniable fact that activists said underscored the impunity homophobic attackers become whenever committing these crimes.

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