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Amnesty demands action on trans killings after murder of leading activist

Michelle O'Toole October 15, 2015

Argentinian transgender activist Diana Sacayán

Amnesty International has demanded action to tackle the shockingly high transgender murder rate in South America, after a leading activist was stabbed to death.

The charity issued a strongly worded message to the Argentinian government, following the murder of renowned trans activist Diana Sacayán in her Bueno Aires home, demanding that better steps are taken to document and investigate transgender killings.

In the last month three trans women have been murdered in Argentina, Marcela Chocobar, Coty Olmos and most recently Miss Sacayán. All three were heavily involved in transgender equality activism and causes.

Mariela Belski, Executive Director for Amnesty International Argentina, referred to the spate of violent deaths as “a dark cloud” that “has set over Argentina’s trans community”.

She said: “Unless this latest wave of murders is effectively investigated and those responsible taken to justice, a message will be sent that attacking trans women is actually OK”.

Calling for the establishment of a database to document trans deaths, Belski said: “Argentina must not allow this wave of violence to continue.

“Setting up a database to document gender crimes and developing strong mechanisms to investigate and punish gender violence would be good and long awaited first steps.”

The continent of South America has the highest number of recorded murders for trans people in the world according to the Trans Murder Monitoring Project, which has documented 1356 cases since 2008.

Diana Sacayán was well known in Argentina for her work for various agencies pushing for LGBT equality.

She was one of the first people in Argentina to legally self declare their gender and received her legal documents from Argentinas president, Cristina Kirchner. She was found dead in her home on Monday (October 12) having suffered multiple stab wounds.

More: Americas, Amnesty, amnesty international, Argentina, Argentina, Crime, Hate crime, murder, Trans, Transgender

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