A leading trans activist was killed recently in El Salvador, prompting calls by human rights groups to ensure the authorities to prosecute and punish those responsible.
Francela Méndez RodrÃguez was murdered by a group of unknown assailants while she was visiting the home of a friend in Sonsonate, which is roughly 40 miles west of the capital San Salvador.
Her friend she was visiting, Consuela Flores MartÃnez, was also killed.
The 29-year-old had been a member of Salvadoran trans advocacy group Colectivo AlejandrÃa since it was founded in 2010, working tirelessly for human rights and in HIV prevention programs.
David Morales, the Attorney General for the Defense of Human Rights, condemned the murders.
Attorney General for the Defense of Human Rights David Morales on June 4 condemned Méndez’s murder.
‘The LGBTI population is victimized by discrimination, rejection and intolerance that can be seen in grave violations of their human rights,’ he said, according to La Prensa GrÃ¡fica.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights also condemned the murders, urging the El Salvador authorities to ‘initiate an exhaustive investigation to be conducted with due diligence, and to prosecute and punish those responsible’.
‘Attacks on leaders of LGBTI organizations have the effect of intimidating them and LGBTI persons in general,’ they added.
‘This fear is exacerbated by the impunity in which these attacks usually remain, resulting in their repetition. The work of human rights defenders is critical for building a solid and lasting democratic society, and defenders play a leading role in the process to fully implement the rule of law and to strengthen democracy.’