If you thought I was being over the top about trans Latinas and transsistahs taking the brunt of the anti-transgender violence, here's another person to add to this distressingly lengthening list of trans people we're going to memorialize for the 2010 TDOR.
31 year old hairstylist Ashley Santiago was found stabbed to death 14 times inside her home in Corozal, just 25 miles outside the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan. Her 2009 Toyota Corolla was missing from the driveway.
Authorities have yet to determine whether Santiago’s killer (or killers) murdered her because of her gender identity or expression, but I'd be willing to bet that 14 stab wounds is a major clue that it was.
Puerto Rico has a hate crimes statute on its legal books passed in 2002 that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. However, the statute is rarely used.
Gee, I wonder why? Is it because of the heavy Catholic influence in Puerto Rico?
If her killers are caught and brought to justice, it's about time Puerto Rican prosecutors, that you consider separating your religious prejudices from doing your jobs and using the hate crimes statute if it applies in the Santiago case.
In the meantime, while we're waiting for justice to be done in this case, the Santiago family and the trans community will mourn the loss of another one of our beautiful transsisters.