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Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

Law enforcement stated they had categorized the fatalities as a hate criminal activity following the keeps of two females had been present in a badly burned car the other day.

Per week after the figures of two transgender ladies had been present in a defectively burned vehicle in Puerto Rico, the authorities stated Thursday over to the F.B.I that they had arrested two men in connection with the killings and had turned them.

The guys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, had been taken into custody on but have not been charged, according to Capt wednesday. Teddy Morales, the principle of unlawful investigations for law enforcement in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s eastern coastline, where in actuality the women’s stays were entirely on April 22.

He stated the F.B.I. had absorbed the scenario and had been investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for feasible civil liberties violations.

“We are classifying it as a hate crime out they were transgender women, they decided to kill them,” Captain Morales said on Thursday because they were socializing with the victims, and once they found.

Law enforcement stated they certainly were waiting for autopsy leads to figure out how the ladies was in fact killed. Activists have actually identified the ladies as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies whom lived in nyc. Their keeps had been discovered after an individual called 911 to report a burned vehicle under a connection for a desolate road in Humacao, right before 5 a.m. on April 22, Captain Morales stated.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon have been socializing with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez regarding the night before these people were killed and had been recorded on a single for the women’s media that are social, Captain Morales stated.

He stated law enforcement had additionally tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon towards the killings through protection digital camera footage and “scientific proof,” which he declined to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla confessed to taking part in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched himself in, he stated.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I.’s San Juan industry office, declined to discuss the arrests but stated the bureau routinely collaborates with neighborhood, state and federal agencies.

“The Bureau is and certainly will be enthusiastic about criminal conduct that may fall within federal jurisdiction,” she stated. “However, our policy sugar baby Regina is we usually do not verify or reject the presence of investigations, to guard the integrity of every feasible investigative effort.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon could perhaps not straight away be reached for touch upon Thursday evening, and it also had not been instantly clear when they had attorneys.

In the event that guys are charged, it may express a point that is turning the maneuvering of crimes against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, which includes a distressing reputation for physical violence against homosexual and transgender individuals, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez were the next and transgender that is fourth killed in Puerto Rico within the last few two months, activists stated. They certainly were additionally thought to be the 7th and transgender that is eighth gender-nonconforming visitors to have already been killed in america this present year, in accordance with the Human Rights Campaign.

In past times 15 months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. individuals have been killed in Puerto Rico, based on Pedro Julio Serrano, a rights that are gay. All but three regarding the fatalities stay unsolved, he stated.

“These arrests are one step into the right way, however these murders need to be prosecuted as hate crimes,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We desire the federal government in order to complete the investigations within the other seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. individuals regarding the area and provide justice for many of these.”

Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez into the Bronx. Both had recently traveled to Puerto Rico, plus they had been about to travel returning to ny later on this according to family members and activists month.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, said Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon had been arrested following a radio that is local posted pictures of these on Facebook and individuals started initially to phone the place to spot them.

“We are super appreciative regarding the work that the officials plus the community place in to locate whom did this,” she said on Thursday.

She said the pictures originated from two videos that Ms. Pelaez had published on her behalf facebook and snapchat reports, which revealed her and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“I saw the videos, plus it seemed like these were spending some time together as friends,” she said. “It seemed normal. There is music playing into the back ground. Everybody seemed fine.”

She stated law enforcement had informed her family members just that the males had been in federal custody.

The killings arrived four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a transgender that is 19-year-old, was killed in Moca, P.R., in accordance with the Human Rights Campaign.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a well-known figure on Puerto Rico social networking who was simply transgender and homeless, had been shot to death following a McDonald’s consumer complained that Ms. Negron had spied on the into the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s last moments — framed within the headlights of a motor vehicle amid a cackle of laughter — were published on social networking, an undeniable fact that activists stated underscored the impunity homophobic attackers feel when committing such crimes.

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