Two detained in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

The police stated that they had categorized the deaths as a dislike crime after the stays of two ladies happened to be found in a severely burned car the other day.

Each week following systems of two transgender people are within a terribly burned vehicles in Puerto Rico, law enforcement mentioned Thursday that they had detained two boys relating to the killings along with switched all of them to the F.B.I.

The males, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, were taken into custody on Wednesday but I have not been recharged, per Capt. Teddy Morales, the principle of unlawful research when it comes to police in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s eastern coastline, where women’s keeps are found on April 22.

The guy stated the F.B.I. got absorbed the outcome and ended up being examining Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for feasible civil rights violations.

“We is classifying it a detest criminal activity since they comprise interacting because of the sufferers, as soon as they realized these were transgender ladies, they made a decision to kill all of them,” master Morales said on Thursday.

The police mentioned these were awaiting autopsy results to decide how the women was in fact slain. Activists has determined the ladies as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies which stayed in New York City. Their remains were found after a person known as 911 to document a burned vehicles under a bridge on a desolate highway in Humacao, just before 5 a.m. on April 22, chief Morales mentioned.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was basically interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez in the nights before these were killed and had been tape-recorded using one of this women’s social networking reports, Captain Morales mentioned.

The guy mentioned law enforcement had gay websites additionally tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon towards the killings through surveillance camera video footage and “scientific research,” that he declined to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to participating in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched themselves in, he said.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for any F.B.I.’s San Juan field office, dropped to talk about the arrests but said the bureau regularly collaborates with neighborhood, condition and national organizations.

“The agency was and will be enthusiastic about unlawful run that may drop within national legislation,” she mentioned. “However, the plan is we really do not verify or reject the existence of research, to safeguard the integrity of every feasible investigative efforts.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon couldn’t straight away getting attained for discuss Thursday evening, and it also had not been immediately obvious when they have lawyers.

In the event that men are energized, it can represent a flipping part of the handling of crimes against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, that has a disturbing reputation for assault against gay and transgender people, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez were the 3rd and fourth transgender folks murdered in Puerto Rico in the last 8 weeks, activists mentioned. They certainly were additionally thought to be the seventh and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals to being murdered in the us in 2010, in accordance with the person legal rights strategy.

In the past 15 period, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. individuals have come killed in Puerto Rico, based on Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay legal rights activist. All but three from the deaths continue to be unresolved, the guy stated.

“These arrests tend to be one step in best path, nevertheless these murders have to be prosecuted as dislike crimes,” Mr. Serrano said. “We urge the us government in order to complete the research in additional seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. individuals throughout the area and offer justice for all of those.”

Ms. Velazquez stayed in Queens and Ms. Pelaez when you look at the Bronx. Both had not too long ago journeyed to Puerto Rico, as well as were about to fly to New York later on this month, per family members and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, stated Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon happened to be arrested after a nearby radio place submitted photographs of those on fb and individuals began to phone the place to identify them.

“We are very appreciative of the services that the officials together with society added locate exactly who performed this,” she mentioned on Thursday.

She said the images originated from two movies that Ms. Pelaez had posted on her Snapchat and Twitter reports, which revealed her and Ms. Velazquez interacting with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we watched the films, plus it appeared like they certainly were spending some time collectively as company,” she said. “It appeared typical. There was tunes playing within the credentials. Anyone appeared good.”

She mentioned the authorities got informed her household best your guys are in federal custody.

The killings arrived four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender man, ended up being killed in Moca, P.R., in accordance with the person legal rights strategy.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a well-known figure on Puerto Rico social media who was simply transgender and homeless, is recorded to demise after a McDonald’s customer reported that Ms. Negron had spied on her inside women’s room.

Ms. Negron’s last moments — presented inside headlights of a car amid a cackle of laughter — are posted on social media, a fact that activists said underscored the impunity homophobic assailants become whenever committing this type of criminal activities.