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Campaign launched to save Guatemalan transwoman from deportation

Fernanda Milan, who was placed in a male accommodation center and raped ‘many’ times when she first arrived in Denmark, is due to be deported back to Guatamala
Fernanda Milan (right) in danger of deportation back to Guatamala from Denmark

A campaign has been launched to save transwoman Fernanda Milan from deportation back to Guatamala from Denmark.

Guatamala has a shocking reputation for transgender hate crimes. A 2010 report showed that 13 transwomen were murdered over one year.

Milan came to Denmark in search of a better life, but her treatment when she first arrived was far from what she hoped. She was placed in the men’s wing of an accommodation center for asylum seekers, where she was raped by several men.

‘I was really scared. I was new to this country. I came from a foreign country and from a terrifying background, and I faced daunting prospects here in Denmark, so I said nothing,’ Milan said in an interview published on the blog Uncommon Sense. ‘I wasn’t raped by just one man but by many.’

Danish Red Cross, who run the accommodation center have not commented on the case.

After leaving the accommodation center, Milan ended up working in a brothel because she didn’t know where else to go. When the brothel was raided by the police she came into contact with the anti-human trafficking organization Reden International.

Milan has lived in a women’s center ran by Reden International since February 2011, but she recently learnt of the decision in her asylum case - she is due to be deported back to Guatamala on 17 September.

Campaigners are urging supporters to contact Danish authorities and embassies about the case.

Milan said the violence against transgenders is so bad in Guatamala that she knows ‘no transgender people in Guatamala over 35’. But she said she’s not afraid of being killed. ‘What really petrifies me is being attacked and tortured,’ she says.

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