Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

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Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

The police stated they had labeled the deaths as a detest crime after the keeps of two lady were within a badly burned automobile a week ago.

Per week after the system of two transgender ladies happened to be found in a badly burned automobile in Puerto Rico, the police said Thursday they got detained two men relating to the killings along with switched them up to the F.B.I.

The males, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, were taken into guardianship on Wednesday but I have maybe not been energized, per Capt. Teddy Morales, the chief of unlawful investigations for police in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, where women’s keeps happened to be found on April 22.

The guy said the F.B.I. have bought out the actual situation and was actually investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil rights violations.

“We are classifying it a detest crime simply because they are socializing because of the sufferers, as soon as they learned they certainly were transgender women, they chose to eliminate all of them,” chief Morales mentioned on Thursday.

The police stated they were awaiting autopsy brings about decide how the women were killed. Activists posses identified the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two friends which lived in nyc. Their own remains had been found after individuals labeled as 911 to report a burned automobile under a bridge on a desolate road in Humacao, prior to 5 a.m. on April 22, master Morales said.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon have been interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez on the night before they were slain and comprise taped on one on the women’s social media marketing reports, chief Morales said.

He mentioned the police had furthermore tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon on killings through security camera video footage and “scientific proof,” that he dropped to outline. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to participating in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched himself in, he stated.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman when it comes down to F.B.I.’s San Juan area workplace, declined to talk about the arrests but said the bureau consistently collaborates with neighborhood, county and national companies.

“The agency is actually and certainly will be thinking about unlawful make which may fall within federal jurisdiction,” she mentioned. “However, all of our rules try we really do not confirm or refuse the presence of research, to guard the integrity of every possible investigative energy.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon cannot instantly end up being achieved for touch upon Thursday evening, also it was not immediately obvious when they had lawyers.

In the event that guys are recharged, it might portray a switching part of the control of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, with a disturbing reputation for assault against homosexual and transgender men, activists said.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez are the 3rd and 4th transgender folks murdered in Puerto Rico within the last few two months, activists stated. They certainly were furthermore considered the 7th and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming visitors to have-been killed in america this present year, in line with the peoples Rights venture.

In the past 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. men and women have come slain in Puerto Rico, based on Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay legal rights activist. Just about three for the fatalities continue to be unsolved, the guy said.

“These arrests are one step in right course, nevertheless these murders have to be prosecuted as detest criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano mentioned. “We craving the government to finish the research from inside the more seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. men and women on the area and offer justice regarding of these.”

Ms. Velazquez lived-in Queens and Ms. Pelaez into the Bronx. Both have lately moved to Puerto Rico, and so they had been planning to fly back again to ny later this period, based on members of the family and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s cousin, stated Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon comprise detained after a regional broadcast place uploaded images of them on Twitter and individuals began to phone the station to understand all of them.

“We tend to be extremely appreciative with the perform your authorities as well as the community added to track down exactly who did this,” she stated on Thursday.

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

“we spotted the clips, and it seemed like these were spending time together as company,” she mentioned. “It appeared regular. There clearly was songs playing during the history. Folks appeared fine.”

She mentioned law enforcement got shared with her parents best that the people comprise in national custody.

The killings arrived four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender people, had been slain in Moca, P.R., according to the person liberties Campaign.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social media who was simply transgender and homeless, was actually recorded to death after a McDonald’s client reported that Ms. Negron had spied on the within the women’s room.

Ms. Negron’s last times — framed inside headlights of a car amid a cackle of fun — had been posted on social media marketing, an undeniable fact that activists stated underscored the impunity homophobic assailants think whenever committing this type of crimes.

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