A homeless trans woman has been murdered in Puerto Rico.
According to media reports confirmed by Puerto Rican LGBTQ advocacy groups, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, known as Alexa, was killed in a park in Toa Baja, a city around 15 miles west of capital San Juan, early on Monday.
“A Puerto Rican transgender woman appears to have been harassed for using the women’s bathroom and then murdered. The attack was recorded & shared on social media,” wrote civil rights organisation Lambda Legal on Twitter.
“This violence is completely unacceptable. Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are and treated with dignity and respect.
“Puerto Rican law enforcement authorities must expeditiously and thoroughly investigate this horrific crime, including its posting on social media.”
David Begnaud of CBS News reported that police responded to social media accusations that Alexa was “peeping on people” in a public bathroom.
Police found no proof and the complainant didn’t file charges after finding out Alexa was homeless. However, he says “a narrative spread on social media” about her.
Alexa was reportedly killed nine hours after the accusations were made, and local news outlets have reported that her murder was captured on video and shared on social media.
The murder hasn’t been classified as a hate crime yet, however Governor Wanda Vazquez tweeted that “no motive will be discarded” and urged anyone with information to contact police.
Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of LGBTQ charity Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, told the Washington Blade in a statement: “We don’t know all the details yet, but she was harassed, hunted and brutally killed.
“There’s no doubt that transphobia and intolerance had much to do in this case. Trans people are human beings that deserve to live with respect, peace and dignity.”