Brazilian Trans Woman Murdered by a Military Policemen

Manuella Otto
military police officer Jeremias da Costa Silva (L), / Trans Woman Manuella Otto (R)

Manuella Otto, 25, a beloved transgender woman was murdered on February 13, in the city of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.

At 1:30 am, employees of the Minha Pousada motel heard shots and called the police. Before they arrived an unrequested guest threatened them, broke down the motel gate, and left.

A warrant was subsequently issued on February 17, 2021, for police officer Jeremias da Costa Silva, for the murder of Manuella Otto. who was arrested the next day when he turned himself in.

On Thursday afternoon February 18th, Jeremias da Costa Silva and was taken to the Battalion of Guards, in the Monte das Oliveiras neighborhood, in the north of Manaus.

Jeremias Silva was seen on this video attempting to leave the motel. He had taken his shirt off to hide his face but in doing so he exposed a large tattoo on his shoulder. When he realized that he wasn’t going to open the gate without a code Jeremias da Costa Silva rammed it with his car and fled.

The cameras recorded the moment when Jeremiah tries to leave the establishment but is prevented by the concierge. The police officer gets out of the car, his face covered with a shirt, and threatens employees with a revolver.

Jeremias da Costa Silva refused to take off his shirt during the first hearing in court knowing without that evidence he would walk free. But unbeknownst to him, police had found evidence during a search of his house which placed him at the scene of the crime.

Manuella Otto was a beloved member of the community.

The victim’s ex-companion, businessman Lucas Picanço, reported to Em Tempo that Manuela worked as an actress, organized events and had a children’s theater company.

“We had already participated in several presentations here in Manaus. Manu was taking a course in administration and drawing. She was always looking to learn, and in fact, she studied journalism for a while,” said Picanço.

If at home the young girl received all the affection from her family, outside the scenario was quite different, and Manuela was forced to face the contempt and prejudice of society.

“Manu didn’t even like to go to the grocery store, because people always made jokes about her appearance, and that bothered her a lot,” reported the businessman.

The mistrust and indifference faced by Manuela were not restricted to laughter and prejudiced jokes. She had a hard time getting a job in a job market so hostile to [trans women].

“Without opportunities, Manuela often ended up taking risks and resorted to prostitution to supplement her income. She complained that getting job offers was always very difficult,” said Picanço.

Family, friends, and representatives of the LGBT community protested at the police station demanding the policeman be punished.

“We had to demonstrate to ask for justice, to ask that this crime not go unpunished. The police arrest, but the justice releases. That’s our goal, that’s why we’re here! ”Said Bruna La Close, president of the LGBT Pride Parade Manaus.
“We are going to arrest, we are going to convict and we are going to expel! Because a person like that does not deserve to be in a country like this, where the issue of population security works, ”said La Close.

Manuella Otto was the 17th transgender Brazilain to be murdered up to that day.

Since the last TDoR on November 20, 2020, have been 61 transgender Brazilians murdered, which is 1/3 of the 169 trans murders worldwide.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender