A trans woman was stabbed 20 times and had her eye gouged out to ‘send a message’ to Colombia’s LGBT+ community
She was found in a ditch, wind-blown plastic bags and wrappers covering her body and a soiled slab of sponge nearby.
Her eye had been hollowed out, her throat slit and her body stabbed 20 times. The death of 33-year-old trans woman Paloma Salas Jiménez rippled through the fragile Colombian trans community on April 16.
Jiménez was found in the north of Barranquilla, a port city nestled at the mouth of the Magdalena River.
According to LGBT+ leaders, Jiménez was routinely targeted by local gangs who, in killing her, sought to send a “message of rejection” to the trans community.
Trans woman allegedly targeted by thugs in Colombia who want to send a violent ‘message’ to LGBT+ community.
In a country that pelts trans people with persecution and violence, Jiménez’s story is one too familiar to LGBT+ Colombians.
Her body was found by passersby at around 10:50am in the El Milagros sector of the city, who noticed a smell wafting from a pipe near the depository. Patrol cops rushed to the scene and confirmed to H724 that investigations have begun.
Wilson Castañeda, director of the Corporación Caribe Affirmativo, told El Heraldo that Jiménez was “a trans woman who had a lot of visibility in the La Chinita sector.
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“For that same reason, [she] was very harassed by the illegal actors that control that territory.
“In addition, we are shaken by the severity of the crime, because 20 stab wounds in her body show a clear intention on the part of the perpetrator, not only to kill her, but also a high level of violence to send a message of rejection of what the victim represents ”
Castañeda stressed that the trans community in Colombia are one the most marginalised and vulnerable in the country.
“Of the entire universe of LGBTI+people, the most affected are always transsexual people,” he said, “because they are the most visible.
He added: “She shows and what the armed actors wanted was precisely that she did not show her gender identity, but she could not do it because it was her essence.
“The conclusion is that the greater the visibility, the greater the risk.”