Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

Law enforcement mentioned they’d categorized the deaths as a hate criminal activity following keeps of two ladies comprise within a defectively burned auto last week.

Each week following the figures of two transgender girls happened to be present in a badly burned car in Puerto Rico, law enforcement stated Thursday which they had detained two men in connection with the killings together with switched them up to the F.B.I.

The guys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, are used into guardianship on Wednesday but have maybe not been recharged, according to Capt. Teddy Morales, the chief of criminal investigations for all the police in Humacao, on Puerto Ricos eastern coast, the spot where the womens remains were found on April 22.

The guy said the F.B.I. had absorbed the case and ended up being investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for feasible civil-rights violations.

We include classifying it as a dislike criminal activity since they are interacting using victims, and once they realized these people were transgender ladies, they chose to kill all of them, chief Morales mentioned on Thursday.

The police mentioned these were waiting around for autopsy leads to regulate how the ladies have been slain. Activists posses determined the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two pals whom stayed in new york. Their unique remains happened to be discover after one known as 911 to document a burned automobile under a bridge on a desolate path in Humacao, just before 5 a.m. on April 22, chief Morales stated.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez about nights before they were killed and were tape-recorded on a single of this womens social media marketing records, Captain Morales said.

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The guy said law enforcement had furthermore fastened Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon to the free Dating In Your 40s killings through surveillance camera footage and scientific evidence, that he dropped to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to participating in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched himself in, he mentioned.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for your F.B.I.s San Juan field office, dropped to talk about the arrests but said the bureau routinely collaborates with regional, state and national companies.

The agency is actually and will often be enthusiastic about criminal behavior which might fall within national legislation, she stated. However, our very own policy try we really do not verify or refute the presence of research, to protect the stability of every possible investigative work.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon cannot right away feel achieved for comment on Thursday night, also it wasn’t right away clear when they had solicitors.

If the male is charged, it might express a switching point in the maneuvering of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. folks in Puerto Rico, with a disturbing reputation for physical violence against homosexual and transgender individuals, activists said.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez were the next and 4th transgender group murdered in Puerto Rico within the last few 8 weeks, activists stated. They were additionally believed to be the seventh and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals to have now been killed in the us this current year, according to research by the person legal rights strategy.

Before 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. men and women have started killed in Puerto Rico, relating to Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay rights activist. All but three associated with deaths remain unresolved, he said.

These arrests are one step during the right way, nevertheless these murders need to be prosecuted as dislike crimes, Mr. Serrano mentioned. We need government entities in order to complete the investigations in more seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. men about isle and offer fairness for several of these.

Ms. Velazquez lived-in Queens and Ms. Pelaez for the Bronx. Both got recently moved to Puerto Rico, as well as happened to be planning to fly back once again to ny later this period, based on nearest and dearest and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaezs cousin, mentioned Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon had been arrested after a local broadcast place uploaded images of those on myspace and folks started to name the station to spot all of them.

We are very appreciative on the efforts your authorities together with community invest locate which performed this, she stated on Thursday.

She stated the photographs originated in two videos that Ms. Pelaez have published on her behalf Snapchat and myspace profile, which demonstrated the lady and Ms. Velazquez interacting with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

I noticed the video, and it seemed like they certainly were spending time together as friends, she mentioned. It seemed regular. There is songs playing inside history. Everybody appeared fine.

She said the police got informed her families best the guys are in national custody.

The killings came per month after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender people, is murdered in Moca, P.R., based on the person liberties Campaign.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social networking who had been transgender and homeless, had been shot to death after a McDonalds buyer reported that Ms. Negron had spied on her behalf inside the womens area.

Ms. Negrons final minutes framed into the headlights of an automible amid a cackle of laughter had been uploaded on social media, an undeniable fact that activists said underscored the impunity homophobic assailants feeling whenever committing these types of crimes.

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