It’s nonstop in Brazil: Four more trans women murdered

Pâmella Leão
Pâmella Leão

Transgender woman Pâmella Leão was shot while dancing a choreographed version of “Paredão Metralhadora” which translates to the “Machine gun”,  a Brazilian song.

A Spokesman for Teresina Emergency Hospital (HUT – Hospital de Urgência de Teresina) confirmed Thursday morning (May 3rd) the death of Leão. She was hospitalized in serious condition in the Intensive Therapy Unit (UTI – Unidade de Terapia Intensiva) since the 30th of January when she was admitted after being shot in the head during a carnival festivity.

According to the hospital, Thursday at dawn the woman suffered multiple organ failures which ended her life.  Her family was notified and her body was taken to the Forensic Medicine Institute (IML – Instituto Médico Legal) for an autopsy. 

The hospital director, Gilberto Albuquerque, informed us that in the beginning of March Pâmella was getting better and even came out of the coma, talking and moving her arms and legs. Two weeks later she had a new surgery for the implementation of a drain on the head after presenting symptoms of hydrocephalus.

“After that surgery, she just got worse and never came out of the coma”, stated the director.

Police investigations pointed that one of Pâmella’s friends picked the gun of a man who was nearby and started to play with it, and accidentally shot her.

Pâmella’s statement would have been key to solve the case, but due to her condition it has not been taken.

The police investigation has revealed that the gun used to shoot Pâmella belonged to a Military Police sublieutenant who had filed a complaint stating his gun was stolen that day.

Police have heard from 19 people so far, four of them were eyewitnesses but none of them recognized the sublieutenant. The witnesses stated that the man seen in the crime scene was a younger person, 30 to 35 years old.

On his statement, the sublieutenant said that his gun was stolen after or during the festivities on the 30th January on Raul Lopes Ave. The first deputy to investigate, inspector Adelmar Canabrava, said that the sublieutenant didn’t report the gun stolen until February 2nd. three days after Pâmella Leão was shot.

“The sublieutenant claims he was working in the festival and that the gun just disappeared, but didn’t file a complaint on Sunday or Monday. He only filed the complaint on Tuesday, when the facts were all over the media” Canabrava said.

The main suspect is a 16 years old friend of Pâmella, who already confessed to accidentally shooting her.


On another crime, another trans woman was murdered. Thursday, on April 4th, a trans woman was murdered with multiple shots in the Vila Rica neighborhood of Ribeirão city of the state of Pernambuco.

Bianca AbravanelBié, aka Bianca Abravanel, a 25 years old trans woman, was shot at least 15 times. Police are investigating the case, searching for the author and the motivation of the crime. A second victim who was injured, J.C.L., 16, is helping the authorities.

According to him, four persons approached Bianca and shot her in the face and chest, killing her on the spot. He tried to hide from the killers but was hit by a shot on his left leg.

Unofficial reports state that Bianca was involved in drug trafficking. Her body was taken to the forensics of Recife, capital of Pernambuco state.


Letícia B. da Silva
Letícia B. da Silva

Letícia B. da Silva, 22, is another trans woman murdered, this time in Bengui, Belém region, on May 5th. According to police, she was involved in drug trafficking and may have been murdered over a turf war. She was still helped by relatives but died on the way to the hospital.

Letícia lived with her family near Beco da Diquinha, an area dominated by drug trafficking. When she was walking home, two men on a motorcycle came by and one of them made the shots.

Letícia had a prior arrest for drug trafficking last month. Inspector Sena stated that “At that time we went to her house with warrants and it was like a fortress. It was very difficult to enter. Inside we found drugs and arrested her.” Other family members of her have ben murdered in the same conditions and due to the same reasons.

On a statement, an aunt tells that heard the shots and went to the window and saw Letícia injured. She stated that the victim was already in a very bad condition, with lots of blood coming out of her mouth. They put her in a car in an attempt to help, but she dies on the way to the hospital.

Police have no suspects so far.

Adriana LeiteVia FB, came the new that Adriana Leite was murdered in the Belo Horizonte area. No media news was found on her death and her friends on FB gave little info on how she died.

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Trans woman, activist, writer and translator from Portugal (that's in Europe)


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