Two trans women tortured and murdered in the Dominican Republic

April 28, 2009

Dominican Republic flagOn Top magazine carries a brief report (link here) on the torture and brutal murders of two trans women in the Dominican Republic.

NOTE: The following excerpt from the report contains some graphic descriptions which may be triggering.

Eduardo Padilla, 23, and Ramon Martinez, 26, were brutally tortured before being killed in the northern city of Santiago, Central Cibao Police District spokesman Col. Jesus Cordero Paredes said.

The police spokesman said one of the victims was stabbed 40 times, severely beaten in the genitals, arms and face and her eyes were torn out.

The second victim was found bound, stuffed in a bag with her legs broken. She also was stabbed and burned, Cordero Paredes said.

The spokesman said the pair were tortured in a “cruel” fashion. Two suspects are in custody; men the victims’ relatives identified as “friends.”

“Friends”? “Friends”? I cannot begin to understand how the victims’ relatives can possibly believe the people suspected of torturing and murdering members of their families are “friends”. And I can’t help but wonder, if Ms Padilla and Ms Martinez had been cis women, would their murderers still be thought of as “friends”?

I have this (probably misplaced) belief that the majority of cis people are actually good and decent folks who, even though they will never truly understand what it means to be trans, are at least capable of accepting us, and who would genuinely be horrified to learn that hate crimes against trans people are increasing at an exponential rate worldwide. What is starting to undermine my faith in cis humanity is the refusal to face the facts and the continuing failure to stand with us against this escalating spiral of transphobic bigotry and violence.

4 Responses to “Two trans women tortured and murdered in the Dominican Republic”

  1. Marigold Says:

    Hi Helen,
    For what it’s worth, this cis reader of your blog is facing facts and standing with you against the bigotry and violence.
    Pax Christi,

  2. Helen G Says:

    Marigold, it means a lot to me to read your comment.

    It’s so important that cis people work in solidarity with us and I’m grateful that you took the time to comment here.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Marigold Says:

    The thing I find difficult is that it’s an invisible fight. I *am* in solidarity with you, but how is that put to good use? To “work in solidarity” – does this mean joining organisations, or is it really ‘enough’ to be loving and open-minded in the situations we are each faced with? I’m not convinced either way.


  4. Helen G Says:

    There are no easy answers. Cis people need to understand that we are not freaks and perverts, that – for whatever reasons – we self-identify and present in genders other than those we were assigned at birth, and that our existences are every bit as valid as cis peoples. We’re human too…

    In that sense, I think that, to start, we need to be raising awareness, helping to change attitudes, educating – and learning. There is a lot of work to be done and there are no instant results. Attitudinal changes within the mainstream of cis society will not happen overnight and there will always be transphobic bigots – but we can work together to help these changes begin to come about.

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