El Salvador mourns the passing of the death of the activist for the rights of trans people, Francela Méndez Rodríguez, who was killed last week in El Salvador. She was a member of the Association Alexandria. The international community that defend the rights of the LGBT community condemned this crime and demanded the investigation of the murder.
“Francela Méndez was young, educated, kind, hard-working, she was a leader”, said Paty Hernández, a well-known trans activist from El Salvador, who fled her country due to continuous threats of aggression and death. So far this year, in El Salvador, there has been at least 10 violent deaths towards trans people. On the other hand, some fear that during the annual Gay Pride March, the number of homicides increases.
Francela worked in the Association Alexandria, which she helped found in 2010. Francela had contributed to the implementation of the activities of the project funded by the Global Fund and was a great advocate for the Human Rights of trans people, and promoter of the law of gender identity. “Francela is just the tip of the iceberg”, said Pat. “So far this year, ten trans people and two gay men were killed”. The siege against trans people and their organizations comes also from the State bodies responsible for the investigation of cases of aggression and from the media, which contribute to increasing the stigma, discrimination and hatred towards the LGBTI community.
The Procurator for the Defense for Human Rights, David Morales strongly condemned the killing of Francela and asked the Prosecutor’s Office a murder investigation, ensuring the due process. Suffering, discrimination, persecution and threats that LGBTI people suffer in El Salvador is unacceptable and hate crimes are recurrent. This has led to a group of organizations to propose law reforms that classify these murders as hate crimes. Sadly, the violence in El Salvador is a theme from day to day, to the extent that the authorities are ignoring the hundreds of cases of violence. This has aggravated the conditions of transgender people and has placed them in a position of vulnerability. Many of them are treated and even considered as second-class citizens. We invite all countries and organizations to not remain silent against these crimes.
We must show our indignation and to follow up on the situation in the Central American country, speak with our government authorities to put pressure in regional areas to end impunity for these crimes.