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Two detained in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

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Two detained in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

The authorities stated they had labeled the deaths as a dislike criminal activity following stays of two people are present a defectively burned car last week.

Weekly following the body of two transgender people had been found in a poorly burned automobile in Puerto Rico, law enforcement said Thursday that they have detained two males associated with the killings and had transformed all of them over to the F.B.I.

The guys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, were taken into guardianship on Wednesday but have not started charged, per Capt. Teddy Morales, the main of unlawful research when it comes down to authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, where in fact the women’s remains are available on April 22.

The guy stated the F.B.I. have absorbed the outcome and is exploring Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil-rights violations.

“We include classifying it a detest criminal activity simply because they are socializing because of the subjects, as soon as they realized these were transgender people, they made a decision to kill them,” head Morales said on Thursday.

Law enforcement stated they were looking forward to autopsy results to figure out how the women was killed. Activists posses determined the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two friends whom lived-in new york. Her keeps comprise discovered after someone called 911 to submit a burned vehicles under a bridge on a desolate path in Humacao, before 5 a.m. on April 22, head Morales said.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was indeed interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez regarding evening before they were slain and are tape-recorded on a single associated with the women’s social networking accounts, head Morales said.

He mentioned law enforcement got furthermore fastened Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon into killings through security camera footage and “scientific proof,” which he decreased to outline. Mr. Pagan Bonilla confessed to taking part in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched himself in, the guy mentioned.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for F.B.I.’s San Juan industry workplace, decreased to discuss the arrests but said the bureau consistently collaborates with local, state and federal companies.

“The agency is actually and will continually be thinking about criminal run that may fall within federal legislation,” she stated. “However, our policy is actually we really do not confirm or refuse the presence of research, to safeguard the stability of any feasible investigative efforts.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon would never instantly become achieved for discuss Thursday evening, and it wasn’t immediately obvious should they have attorneys.

If the men are billed, it could signify a turning reason for the handling of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, which includes a disturbing reputation for assault against homosexual and transgender individuals, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez comprise the third and fourth transgender folks slain in Puerto Rico within the last 2 months, activists said. These were furthermore considered to be the seventh and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming men and women to are murdered in the United States this current year, according to the people legal rights strategy.

Prior to now 15 period, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. men and women have come killed in Puerto Rico, based on Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay liberties activist. Just about three on the fatalities stays unsolved, he stated.

“These arrests is a step in best path, however these murders need to be prosecuted as dislike crimes,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We urge the government in order to complete the investigations during the more seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. anyone regarding the island and provide justice for all ones.”

Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez inside the Bronx. Both got not too long ago journeyed to Puerto Rico, in addition they happened to be likely to travel to nyc later this thirty days, according to members of the family and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s cousin, mentioned Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon comprise detained after a nearby radio place posted imagery ones on myspace and other people began to phone the section to identify them.

“We were awesome appreciative regarding the efforts that the authorities and the society place in to get whom performed this,” she mentioned on Thursday.

She said the photographs originated two video clips that Ms. Pelaez had submitted on her behalf Snapchat and fb reports, which demonstrated their and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we spotted the movies, and it appeared like they certainly were hanging out collectively as family,” she mentioned. “It felt regular. There seemed to be music playing when you look at the back ground. Everyone felt fine.”

She stated law enforcement have informed her families only that guys comprise in federal guardianship.

The killings emerged monthly after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender man, ended up being murdered in Moca, P.R., according to the people liberties venture.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social media who was transgender and homeless, got shot to dying after a McDonald’s buyer reported that Ms. Negron had spied on her during the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s final minutes — presented from inside the headlights of a vehicle amid a cackle of fun — were uploaded on social networking, a fact that activists said underscored the impunity homophobic attackers feeling when committing such crimes.

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