Two detained in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

Two detained in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

Law enforcement mentioned they had labeled the fatalities as a detest crime following the remains of two females were within a severely burned auto the other day.

Weekly following body of two transgender people are present in a severely burned vehicles in Puerto Rico, law enforcement mentioned Thursday they have arrested two people regarding the the killings together with turned them up to the F.B.I.

The guys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, happened to be taken into custody on Wednesday but I have not started charged, relating to Capt. Teddy Morales, the main of violent investigations for authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east coastline, where the women’s remains are found on April 22.

He said the F.B.I. have bought out happening and had been examining Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil-rights violations.

“We is classifying it as a dislike crime simply because they comprise socializing making use of victims, as soon as they learned they certainly were transgender females, they chose to destroy them,” head Morales said on Thursday.

The authorities stated these were awaiting autopsy leads to regulate how the women have been murdered. Activists have identified the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies which lived-in New York City. Their stays were located after people called 911 to submit a burned automobile under a bridge on a desolate highway in Humacao, before 5 a.m. on April 22, chief Morales said.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon had been socializing with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez regarding the evening before these were murdered and comprise taped on a single of this women’s social media marketing accounts, Captain Morales mentioned.

He mentioned law enforcement have additionally tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon to the killings through surveillance camera footage and “scientific evidence,” which he decreased to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to playing the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon transformed themselves in, he mentioned.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman when it comes down to F.B.I.’s San Juan industry office, dropped to talk about the arrests but said the agency consistently collaborates with local, county and national organizations.

“The agency are and certainly will always be into criminal make that could fall within federal jurisdiction,” she said. “However, the rules try we do not confirm or reject the presence of research, to safeguard the stability of any possible investigative efforts.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon couldn’t right away getting attained for touch upon Thursday nights, and it wasn’t instantly clear if they had attorneys.

In the event that the male is billed, it could signify a flipping part of the handling of crimes against L.G.B.T.Q. folks in Puerto Rico, with a disturbing history of assault against homosexual and transgender folks, activists said.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez were the 3rd and next transgender men and women killed in Puerto Rico within the last few 2 months, activists said. They were also thought to be the seventh and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming men and women to being murdered in the United States in 2010, in accordance with the person liberties strategy.

Prior to now 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. people have come killed in Puerto Rico, per Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay liberties activist. Just about three of the deaths continue to be unsolved, he mentioned.

“These arrests were one step inside the correct course, however these murders have to be prosecuted as detest crimes,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We craving government entities to finish the investigations in the additional seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. folk on the isle and provide fairness for all of these.”

Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez during the Bronx. Both had recently journeyed to Puerto Rico, plus they had been likely to fly returning to nyc later this month, based on loved ones and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, stated Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon are arrested after a local broadcast place published photos ones on fb and other people started to phone the section to understand all of them.

“We tend to be very appreciative in the jobs that officials and people put in to find who performed this,” she stated on Thursday.

She said the photographs originated two video that Ms. Pelaez got posted on her Snapchat and fb profile, which confirmed this lady and Ms. Velazquez interacting with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we watched the videos, plus it appeared like these people were spending some time along as company,” she mentioned. “It felt regular. There was clearly musical playing in the credentials. Everybody Else seemed okay.”

She stated the police have informed her group best your men comprise in national custody.

The killings arrived four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender man, ended up being slain in Moca, P.R., in accordance with the individual liberties Campaign.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social media marketing who was simply transgender and homeless, had been shot to demise after a McDonald’s customer reported that Ms. Negron have spied on her into the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s final moments — presented in the headlights of a car amid a cackle of laughter — are posted on social networking, an undeniable fact that activists stated underscored the impunity homophobic attackers think whenever committing such crimes.

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