Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

The police said they had categorized the fatalities as a detest crime following keeps of two girls were present a poorly burned vehicle the other day.

Each week following system of two transgender females happened to be found in a badly burned vehicle in Puerto Rico, the authorities stated Thursday which they got arrested two males regarding the the killings together with switched all of them up to the F.B.I.

The males, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, had been used into guardianship on Wednesday but I have maybe not started recharged, relating to Capt. Teddy Morales, the main of criminal investigations when it comes to authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east coast, where in fact the women’s stays were available on April 22.

He mentioned the F.B.I. have taken over the actual situation and was actually investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil rights violations.

“We were classifying it a detest crime since they were interacting aided by the subjects, and once they learned they were transgender female, they decided to eliminate all of them,” master Morales said on Thursday.

Law enforcement said they were awaiting autopsy results to figure out how the women have been murdered. Activists have actually identified the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two company which lived in nyc. Their own stays are found after a person also known as 911 to report a burned vehicles under a bridge on a desolate roadway in Humacao, just before 5 a.m. on April 22, master Morales stated.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon have been interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez on evening before these were murdered and are recorded on a single in the women’s social networking records, chief Morales said.

The guy mentioned the authorities have additionally tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon on killings through surveillance camera video footage and “scientific proof,” which he dropped to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to playing the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon turned himself in, he mentioned.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman when it comes to F.B.I.’s San Juan field company, decreased to talk about the arrests but stated the bureau routinely collaborates with local, condition and federal firms.

“The Bureau is actually and certainly will often be thinking about violent conduct that may drop within national legislation,” she mentioned. “However, the policy was we do not verify or refuse the existence of research, to safeguard the stability of every possible investigative effort.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon could not immediately be reached for discuss Thursday nights, also it wasn’t right away clear if they got solicitors.

When the men are recharged, it can represent a turning part of the control of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. folks in Puerto Rico, with a disturbing reputation of physical violence against homosexual and transgender group, activists mentioned.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez had been the next and fourth transgender visitors slain in Puerto Rico within the last 2 months, activists mentioned. These people were additionally considered to be the seventh and eighth transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals have already been slain in the United States this present year, in accordance with the Human Rights Campaign.

Before 15 period, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. men and women have been murdered in Puerto Rico, per Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay legal rights activist. All but three with the deaths stay unsolved, he said.

“These arrests include one step from inside the correct path, however these murders need to be prosecuted as dislike criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We craving the us government to complete the research when you look at the various other seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. folk on the area and serve fairness for every ones.”

Ms. Velazquez lived-in Queens and Ms. Pelaez from inside the Bronx. Both had not too long ago journeyed to Puerto Rico, and so they are intending to fly returning to New York after this month, according to relatives and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, mentioned Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon had been arrested after a local radio place submitted photos ones on Facebook and people started to name the place to determine all of them.

“We were super appreciative for the perform the authorities as well as the area put in locate whom did this,” she stated on Thursday.

She mentioned the photographs originated in two video clips that Ms. Pelaez got uploaded on the Snapchat and Facebook reports, which demonstrated her and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we watched the video clips, plus it seemed like these were spending some time with each other as pals,” she stated. “It felt typical. There was music playing from inside the background. Everyone felt okay.”

She said the police have shared with her household just your people happened to be in Mesquite escort national custody.

The killings emerged four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender man, is slain in Moca, P.R., based on the peoples Rights venture.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a popular figure on Puerto Rico social media marketing who was simply transgender and homeless, got shot to demise after a McDonald’s client complained that Ms. Negron had spied on the within the women’s space.

Ms. Negron’s best minutes — framed from inside the headlights of an automible amid a cackle of laughter — comprise submitted on social networking, an undeniable fact that activists stated underscored the impunity homophobic attackers become when committing this type of crimes.

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