Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

Two detained in Killings of Transgender Women in Puerto Rico

Law enforcement said they had labeled the fatalities as a detest criminal activity after the stays of two female comprise present a severely burned vehicle a week ago.

Each week following body of two transgender females were found in a terribly burned auto in Puerto Rico, law enforcement said Thursday they got arrested two guys regarding the the killings together with transformed them to the F.B.I.

The boys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, were used into guardianship on Wednesday but have perhaps not become charged, according to Capt. Teddy Morales, the principle of unlawful investigations for the authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, where women’s remains had been available on April 22.

The guy mentioned the F.B.I. have bought out possible and was exploring Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil-rights violations.

“We are classifying it as a hate criminal activity since they comprise interacting aided by the victims, as soon as they realized these people were transgender people, they chose to kill all of them,” head Morales stated on Thursday.

The police mentioned they were waiting around for autopsy leads to figure out how the ladies was killed. Activists have determined the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two company which lived in new york. Their keeps are discovered after a person also known as 911 to submit a burned car under a bridge on a desolate path in Humacao, right before 5 a.m. on April 22, head Morales mentioned.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon had been socializing with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez on nights before they certainly were slain and comprise taped on a single for the women’s social media marketing account, chief Morales stated.

The guy stated law enforcement have in addition tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon towards killings through security camera video footage and “scientific proof,” which he decreased to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla confessed to participating in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon turned themselves in, the guy mentioned.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman your F.B.I.’s Sugar Daddies UK San Juan industry company, dropped to talk about the arrests but stated the bureau consistently collaborates with neighborhood, state and national agencies.

“The agency was and can be thinking about violent behavior that might drop within federal legislation,” she stated. “However, our coverage was we really do not verify or refuse the presence of research, to guard the ethics of any possible investigative energy.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon would never instantly end up being attained for comment on Thursday nights, plus it had not been instantly obvious if they have solicitors.

If men are charged, it can represent a turning reason for the managing of crimes against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, with a disturbing reputation for violence against gay and transgender visitors, activists said.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez were the next and next transgender folks slain in Puerto Rico within the last 8 weeks, activists said. They certainly were furthermore considered to be the seventh and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals have been slain in the us this present year, according to research by the person legal rights promotion.

In earlier times 15 months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. folks have become slain in Puerto Rico, relating to Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay liberties activist. All but three from the fatalities stays unresolved, he mentioned.

“These arrests is a step in the correct movement, but these murders have to be prosecuted as detest criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We craving the federal government to complete the research into the some other seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. individuals from the isle and provide fairness for every of those.”

Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez in Bronx. Both got recently journeyed to Puerto Rico, in addition they comprise about to fly to New York later this thirty days, relating to friends and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s cousin, stated Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon were arrested after an area radio station posted imagery of those on fb and individuals begun to phone the section to understand all of them.

“We are very appreciative with the efforts that authorities together with area input locate who did this,” she said on Thursday.

She mentioned the images originated in two films that Ms. Pelaez had posted on her behalf Snapchat and fb accounts, which confirmed their and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we watched the clips, and it also seemed like they certainly were spending some time along as pals,” she said. “It felt typical. There clearly was sounds playing from inside the background. Everybody Else appeared good.”

She mentioned the police got told her family members just your guys comprise in federal custody.

The killings emerged four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender guy, ended up being slain in Moca, P.R., according to the Human liberties venture.

In March, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social media who had been transgender and homeless, had been shot to demise after a McDonald’s buyer complained that Ms. Negron had spied on her for the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s last moments — framed within the headlights of a vehicle amid a cackle of fun — were posted on social networking, an undeniable fact that activists stated underscored the impunity homophobic attackers feel when committing these criminal activities.