For the first time in Colombian history, the Second Criminal Court is prosecuting in defense of a transgender woman, sentencing her murderer to 20 years for the 2017 femicide.
'Violation of Rights:' India's Trans Community Rejects Bill
In a historic judicial ruling, a Colombian circuit court sentenced 23-year-old Davinson Stiven Erazo Sanchez to two decades in a psychiatric hospital for the aggravated femicide of Anyela Ramos Claros, in addition to charges of gender-based hate crime, rape, trafficking, and illicit use of firearms.
On the morning of Feb.9, 2017, Erazo attacked Ramos in her Garzon city hair salon, shooting her several times in the back, killing the hairdresser on the spot. This was after attacking her earlier in August with a machete, police said.
The Colombian court’s ruling makes her the nation’s first officially recognized transgender victim of femicide and the continent’s second, preceded by Argentine human rights activist Diana Sacayan.
“For the office, the identification of Luis Angel Ramos Claros as a trans woman is proven, not only because of his physical description found by the forensic doctor, but also because of the development of her in his personal and family relationships,” the prosecutor’s office said.
Ramos is the first Colombian trans woman to benefit from a 2015 amendment which called for harsher measures of gender-based hate crimes. A study conducted by the United States Agency for international Development analyzing trans-homicides from 2008-2013 named Colombia the fourth-highest rate of transgender murders in the world.
Last year alone, over 800 members of the LGBT community were killed, of which 36 were transgender women, Legal Medicine reports.
Discrimination against the LGBT community continues to affect societies worldwide. Though a substantially larger country, the United States witnessed the murders of 28 transgender people in 2017.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) national press secretary, Sarah McBride said, "These deaths are a very clear example of the toxic combination of multiple prejudices and the risk for those living in this country who live at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities.”
A recent incident in the hallways of a West Virginia highschool made headlines Tuesday and caused the suspension of an assistant principal after the school director harassed a transgender boy inside the restroom.
The assistant principal allegedly told the 15-year-old trans boy, “you freak me out,” and was consequently suspended for four days, a penalty which the American Civil Liberties Union deemed “insufficient.”
"There is an epidemic of violence against people from marginalized communities in this country, and it’s an epidemic that is rising,” McBride said.
The national press secretary continued on to say, "Whether or not these crimes are charged as hate crimes does not mean that hate is not a factor in these crimes. Regardless of whether they (authorities) decided to have that charge, it’s clear that hate is a factor in the murder of transgender people across this country."