American organization condemns the murder of two Colombian trans women

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demands Colombia investigate if the murders of Tania and Sirena Paola are based on gender-identity discrimination.

American organization condemns the murder of two Colombian trans women
31 August 2012

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is urging Colombia to investigate the deaths of two trans women.

The body of 44-year old Sirena Paola, registered at birth as Álvaro José Orozco Gutiérrez, was found dead in her home on 11 August in Maicao, Guajira. The victim showed signs of trauma to the back of her head.

On 4 August in Sincelejo, Sucre, Tania, registered at birth as Delimiro Ávila Mendoza, was found dead with a bullet wound to the head.

Local LGBT groups including Caribe Afirmativo and the group Sexual Minorities of Guarija condemned the violent acts, urging Colombian police to properly investigate these and other recent LGBT-related murders in the Caribbean region.

Santa-Marta-based newspaper El Informador reported that two young gay activists, 25 year-old Yelkin Nikley Jiménez and 22 year-old Jonathan Chinchía Manga, were gunned down in the early morning hours by a neighborhood gang.

The IACHR, as a principal body of the Organization of American States (OAS), recognizes that throughout the Americas problems exist in hate crime-related investigations.

Based in Washington, D.C., the IACHR serves as a human rights watchdog for the Americas region, ensuring state compliance with human rights ordinances and advocating for hate crime protection in various countries.

Colombia’s anti-discrimination law, which includes protections for members of the LGBTI community, was signed into law December 2011 by Colombian president Juan Manual Santos.

Despite the hate crime law, local LGBT groups particuarly in the Carribean region serve as accountability mechanisms to the media and law enforcement to ensure proper reporting and investigation of LGBT-related hate crimes. 

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