Transgender activist Francela Mendez Rodriguez was murdered May 31st while at the colony Las Palmeras, in the city of Sonsonate, El Salvador. While her murder has sparked protests and international outrage no arrests have been made.
The brutal murder drew condemnation from David Morales the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights of El Salvador, who said it was an expression of “rejection” and “hatred” against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people ( LGTBI).
Morales called on the prosecutor to conduct an “investigation of the murder of Francela Mendez, without use of discriminatory criteria, as this would violate due process”.
The ombudsman noted that the El Salvadorian justice system is indifferent to the murder of trans women which in turn stimulates more heinous attacks.
Source Frount Line defenders In spite of her prominent role as a defender of the rights of the transgender community in El Salvador, it has been reported in national media outlets that the El Salvadorian Police are attempting to link the murders to drug trafficking, rather than investigating the links to her work with the Colectivo Alejandria and the Red Salvadoreña de defensoras de derechos humanos.
Both the Regional Office for Central America of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights denouncing the killing as the most recent act of aggression against the transgender community. Francela Méndez is the tenth female member of the transgender community to have been killed in 2015. The day of her murder marked two years since the killing of her fellow human rights defender and member of the transgender community, Ms Tanya Vásquez, in May 2013.