Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

The authorities said they had classified the deaths as a detest crime following remains of two women comprise present in a defectively burned auto the other day.

Each week after the body of two transgender female are present a badly burned auto in Puerto Rico, the authorities said Thursday which they got detained two people regarding the the killings and had turned all of them up to the F.B.I.

The males, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, comprise used into guardianship on Wednesday but I have perhaps not started billed, relating to Capt. Teddy Morales, the chief of unlawful investigations for your police in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east coast, where in fact the women’s remains had been available on April 22.

The guy mentioned the F.B.I. have absorbed the situation and got investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for feasible civil rights violations.

“We become classifying it a detest criminal activity since they happened to be socializing with the victims, and once they found out these people were transgender females, they decided to kill them,” head Morales mentioned on Thursday.

The police stated these people were awaiting autopsy brings about determine how the women had been slain. Activists bring identified the ladies as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies just who lived-in new york. Their remains had been discovered after a person known as 911 to submit a burned car under a bridge on a desolate highway in Humacao, just before 5 a.m. on April 22, Captain Morales mentioned.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon have been interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez regarding evening before these were murdered and were recorded on a single of women’s social media records, head Morales mentioned.

He said the authorities got in addition tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon on killings through surveillance camera footage and “scientific research,” that he decreased to outline. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to playing the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched themselves in, the guy mentioned.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for your F.B.I.’s San Juan industry office, dropped to talk about the arrests but said the agency regularly collaborates with regional, state and national agencies.

“The agency is and will be contemplating criminal conduct which could fall within federal legislation,” she stated. “However, all of our plan try we really do not confirm or refuse the presence of research, to safeguard the stability of any possible investigative effort.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon cannot immediately end up being reached for comment on Thursday night, and it also wasn’t straight away clear as long as they got lawyers.

If the the male is billed, it can express a turning reason for the maneuvering of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, which includes a disturbing reputation of violence against gay and transgender individuals, activists said.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez comprise the 3rd and last transgender everyone murdered in Puerto Rico in the last two months, activists mentioned. They were also considered the 7th and eighth transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals were murdered in the usa this year, according to the person liberties venture.

In earlier times 15 months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. folks have already been slain in Puerto Rico, per Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay rights activist. All but three of this fatalities continue to be unsolved, he stated.

“These arrests are one step when you look at the right path, nevertheless these murders have to be prosecuted as hate crimes,” Mr. Serrano mentioned. “We desire the government to finish the investigations for the more seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. individuals about island and provide fairness for every of them.”

Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez inside the Bronx. Both got not too long ago moved to Puerto Rico, and they were likely to travel back into nyc afterwards this thirty days, based on family members and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, said Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon comprise detained after a regional broadcast place published photographs of them on Twitter and individuals begun to phone the facility to understand all of them.

“We is very appreciative with the jobs that the officials while the people put in to acquire who performed this,” she stated on Thursday.

She mentioned the photographs originated in two movies that Ms. Pelaez have uploaded on the Snapchat and Facebook reports, which confirmed the girl and Ms. Velazquez interacting with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we watched the videos, and it also appeared like these people were spending time with each other as family,” she said. “It felt regular. There was musical playing in the background. People felt great.”

She stated the authorities had told her group best the people comprise in national guardianship.

The killings emerged a month after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender guy, got killed in Moca, P.R., in accordance with the individual legal rights strategy.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a popular figure on Puerto Rico social media who was simply transgender and homeless, was actually shot to death after a McDonald’s customer complained that Ms. Negron have spied on the into the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s last minutes — presented when you look at the headlights of a vehicle amid a cackle of laughter — happened to be submitted on social media marketing, an undeniable fact that activists mentioned underscored the impunity homophobic assailants feel whenever committing this type of criminal activities.

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