A transgender woman, who came to the United States from El Salvador, has been murdered after she was deported from the U.S. back to her native country.
The woman, who went by the names Camila and Aurora, sought asylum in the U.S., but according to the Washington Blade, she was deported when immigration authorities didn’t believe she had received threats of violence in her home country.
A Salvadoran transgender advocacy group, Asociación Aspidh Arcoiris Trans, told the Blade that Camila/Aurora had gone missing near the end of January.
After a search of local hospitals, she was located in Rosales National Hospital in San Salvador with multiple injuries. She passed away on February 3.
Camila is now the second trans woman murdered in El Salvador this month.
On February 8, a trans woman named Lolita was murdered with a machete in Sonsonate.
Neither murders have been classified as a hate crime since both died in hospitals without mentioning being victims of violence.
In 2015, El Salvador amended its penal code to include enhanced punishment for crimes based on gender identity and/or sexual orientation. But local activists say the judicial system is slow to investigate such crimes.
“It is unfortunate that although we have articles in the penal code that (allow for the classification of) crimes committed against trans people as hate crimes, they are not put into practice,” Tatiana Molina, an LGBTI activist and Miss Trans El Salvador 2018, told the Blade. “Such is the case of all the crimes that have occurred in recent years and specifically the cases of Camila and Lolita. That is why we are demanding justice and the prompt investigation and prosecution of these cases.”
El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world. For transgender people, gang violence, as well as threats from police and family members, has spurred many to migrate from the Central American country to the U.S.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have confirmed to the Blade that 45 transgender women are being housed at a detention center in Texas, including several from El Salvador.