One Trans Person Is Murdered Every Other Day


The Network of Sex Workers in Latin America and the Caribbean reported another murder of a trans Mexican sex worker on August 28th. Elisarraráz Carmela Mendez, secretary of the Monarchs Civil Liberty Organization of Michoacan, was found at 5am at the Imperial Hotel in Morelia, Michoacan, west of Mexico City.

Mendez is the 117th trans person reported murdered in the first nine months of 2011. The 116th occurred 25 September in Turkey, in the Istanbul district of Başakşehir and is included in the register of Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM), a unique project started in April 2009 that systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans people worldwide.

The project say that even these high numbers are only a fraction of the real figures:

“The truth is much worse. These are mainly the reported cases, which could be found through Internet research. In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases.”

TMM’ s latest update reveals a total of 681 cases of reported killings of trans people from 1 January 2008 to 25 September 2011. Their name, age, location, cause of death, circumstances of the killing and any follow-up have been plotted on a map.

Name lists with detailed information regarding the cases will be provided for the International Transgender Remembrance Day (TDOR) on November 20th. The TDOR raises public awareness of hate crimes against trans people, provides a space for public mourning and honors the lives of those trans people who might otherwise be forgotten.

In the first nine months of 2011, 116 reported murders of trans people were registered by TMM. These were in Brazil (29), Mexico (22), Columbia (10), Venezuela (11) and the USA (7), as well as Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, Philippines and Turkey (4). Further murders have been reported in Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Puerto Rico and Russia.

Since January 2008, cases have been reported in 50 countries, from all six major World Regions.

Most reported cases are from Central and South America, which amount to 533 cases and account for 80 per cent of the globally reported homicides of trans people since January 2008. There LGBT people are increasingly organizing to protest killings. In August, Mexico held its first national march against anti-LGBT hate crimes. In Ecuador, Diane Rodríguez is an organizer with Silueta X, in Guayaquil.

“There are no good statistics, because when the police find a transgender person dead, they just put “male” on the form,” she says. “It’s a hidden problem.”

Rodríguez says there are two main reasons why transphobia is so pronounced in Latin America. “The first problem is religion,” she points out.

“The second is machismo, a Latin-American term for an often extreme form of masculinity. Catholicism and evangelists cause a lot of problems.”


Related Stories:

In Honduras, LGBT Protest Unsolved Murders

Black Trans People Face Higher Rates of Discrimination

Trans Woman Settles DMV Privacy Suit

Photo: TMM map of all reported murders of trans people since January 2008


Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

federico bortoletto

Grazie delle notizie. Molto tristi.

Sandra K.
Sandra T6 years ago

This is makes me so angry, disgusted & sad at the same time. Killing transgendered people why? For what logical reason? Because it's more 'moral' than leaving them to live in peace?? Religion is the largest reason for this kind of hatred, globally. Bad parenting is another large factor. I've lived overseas in developing & developed countries & have seen for myself the hatred, violence & murder which religion breeds. This is yet another example, sadly. Even more upsetting is that this is still happening all over the world.

Maureen Heartwood

So, Roger B. is disgusted by sex acts that involve penises and testicles. That's a bit sad for him, assuming he possesses that anatomy himself.

I'm sure, then, that he approves greatly of lesbians. We are so much less likely than straight women to do those sex acts that he thinks are so disgusting.

Pego Rice
Pego R7 years ago

It just seems, Roger, that a lot of people just have to obses a bit about sex, when it comes to gays. You don't stand next to a co-worker that you assume is straght, and obsess about their sex lives, so whya are you making assumptions about the sexual activities of gays?... Unless you are putting yourself in that picture.

Gays make this guess because more than one gay basher has come out of the closet later in life. GLBT people know that this is a sign as much of self-hate as anything else.

As to your little numbers game. It's actually pretty ugly to state that people's lives are less valuable since there are fewer of them.

I have actually never found that progressives are as much in need of collective support as conservitives are, Go to a Dem or Green rally and you will find people debating, go to Republican and Libertarian and often Tea Party, it has often taken on a more fascist color and sound.

New G.
W. C7 years ago

Sad news, thank you.

Joy Jin
Joy Jin7 years ago

wow, roger b. ur an idiot. ten lives aren't more important than one. ok?
number doesn't matter.
and if you care at all about people, you will care in all aspects.

Gloria W.
Gloria W.7 years ago


Emily Drew
Emily Drew7 years ago

Dear Roger B.
Please go and spread your disgust somewhere else. Not here on CARE2. Did you happen to carch the CARE ? Yeah that's right this place is actually about CAREING.
And i was just wondering if you would have the same attitude if you were born a homosexual, or if your parents were homosexual. My parents are lesbian, I bet that disgust you. But if your parents were lesbian, would that digust you? Or would your opinion change? I actually feel quite sorry for you, not knowing what love feels like. That's the only you could be filled with so much disgust now.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn7 years ago

thank you for raising awareness of this important issue

i think the deaths are underestimated in africa