A 39 year old trans person was stoned to death in the city of Aracaju, Brazil.
The 39 year-old was well known and liked, known locally as ‘Madona’, died from her wounds earlier this week, after she was attacked by an unknown group of people with cobblestones.
Madonna, who was birth-name was Amos Chagas Lima, received mortal blows and was admitted to a hospital in Aracaju, the capital of the state of Sergipe, Brazil, in the early hours of Friday last week. She died four days later from severe head injuries.
Maria Livia Vieira, one of Madona’s neighbor told the Brazilian portal infonet: ‘She was a very funny, happy person, who loved to dance and be playful, she didn’t hurt anyone.’
Madona was a well known figure in Aracaju’s nightlife, Infonet interviewed several people who described how she used to walk around at night and joke with people.
This brutal murder is not an isolated case but highlights the violence trans people, in particular, face in Brazil.
Speaking with Gay Star News, Keila Simpson, president of the National Counsel to Combat Discrimination of the Secretary of Human Rights to the President of Brazil said: ‘The situation in Brazil is very different from any other part of the world.
‘Trans people are the smallest and most vulnerable part of the LGBT Brazilian communities, making up a mere tenth, yet we suffer from the highest incidence of violence and murder.
‘Since January we have had over 100 transgender people murdered here – that means over 10 people murdered every month.
‘Contrary to popular belief, most of the murders are not crime of passion at all, but the murderers are people who didn’t know their victims. Some are clients [of sex work] or others simply people that don’t like transgender people.
‘We have to develop principally in the Brazilian population awareness to respect difference, because here in Brazil this does not yet exist.
‘People here in Brazil think that if they don’t like someone, like a trans person, they have a right to murder.
‘Murders occur because they go often unpunished – simply put: homophobic and transphobic hate is not a criminal offence. The murder of LGBT people, and in particular trans, happens because of the inefficient Brazilian law and order systems.
‘If we had an efficient law and order system, with a justice system and judiciary which would apply and enforce severe punishments, such murders, for sure, wouldn’t occur.
‘International readers must show a bit of solidarity with the LGBT Brazilian communities and in particular with trans people here.
‘The violence is the principle reason why so many Brazilian trans people immigrate abroad, principally to Europe.
‘Only yesterday I spoke with a trans friend who lives in Spain and she told me: “Here people don’t get murdered in the street because they are trans, I’ll never go back to Brazil.”
‘So this why so many of us are forced to leave Brazil, we can be assassinated at any point simply walking in the street, it is not economic migration.
‘I will not be surprised if we will see soon demands for asylum in Europe by Brazilian trans people fleeing violence at home.’