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3 transgender people were slain in just two weeks. The community wants answers

gay pride march Mexico City LGBTQ community rally parade protest transgender rights
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Samantha Gómez Fonseca, a transgender activist and politician, was shot multiple times inside a car in south Mexico City on Sunday.

At least three transgender people were killed in Mexico during the first two weeks of 2024, authorities in the country said, with the most recent death occurring over the weekend.

Samantha Gómez Fonseca, a transgender activist and politician, was shot multiple times inside a car in south Mexico City on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Over 100 members of the local LGBTQ+ community responded to the killing with a protest on the Mexican capital's main expressway Monday.

“Samantha listen, we’re fighting for you," protestors chanted, the outlet reports, as others carried signs reading “your hate speech kills.”

Fonseca had planned to march with the protestors during the rally, which originally intended to call for broader transgender acceptance in Mexican society. After news of Fonseca's death spread, those marching instead called for legal action, including the bolstering of hate crime laws, which only protect LGBTQ+ people in some Mexican states.

Transgender activist Miriam Nohemí Ríos was also shot to death last week at her business in Michoacán, a central Mexican state. In another central state, Jalisco, authorities reported finding a transgender person's body in a ravine with gunshot wounds, according to the AP.

Two other cases were registered by rights groups, who said that the cases have not yet been confirmed by law enforcement, as they often fail to share information pertinent to documenting hate crimes.

Letra S, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding LGBTQ+ rights in Mexico, reported the killing of transgender stylist Gaby Ortíz, whose body was found in the state of Hidalgo near a road with “a threatening message” written on a piece of cardboard next to her.

The National Observatory of Hate Crimes Against LGBTI people also documented the killing of a transgender woman, known only as “Ivonne,” who was found dead alongside her partner in the state of Veracruz, per the AP.

The killings occurred amidst remarks from Mexican President Manuel Lopéz Obrador, who recently apologized to a transgender woman legislator after he misgendered and mocked her as a “man dressed like a woman.” Activists say that such harmful rhetoric from politicians can exacerbate the violence against the transgender community.

Less than 4 percent of criminal investigations in Mexico are solved, and approximately 92 percent of crimes were unreported in 2022, according to a report from that year.

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.