Puerto Rico: Woman stabbed to death in her own home

April 20, 2010

Via Primera Hora – which, in the original version, contains the inevitable cissexist misgendering that we’ve come to expect from the mass media:

[…] authorities discovered Ashley Santiago’s naked body in the kitchen of her house in Corozal, which is roughly 25 miles southwest of the Puerto Rican capital. Santiago, 31, was a popular hair stylist at a local salon.

Via El Nuevo Día – also full of misgendering in the original:

Santiago’s mother went to a local police station to report she had not heard from her daughter since Sunday, April 18. Police said Santiago had been stabbed 14 times. And El Nuevo Día further reported the victim’s 2009 Toyota Corolla was not parked in front of her home.

And via Boston Edge:

Investigators have yet to determine whether Santiago’s killer (or killers) murdered her because of her gender identity or expression, but Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force urged authorities to investigate her death as a possible hate crime.

“The authorities have a legal obligation to investigate this hate angle,” he told EDGE in a statement. “We urge the police and the prosecutor to appropriately investigate this murder; to determine whether it was motivated by prejudice and if there is enough evidence to classify it as a hate crime at this moment.”

RIP mi hermana

The picture above is of the family of Ashley Santiago on hearing the news of Ashley’s violent murder. It’s a distressing image but is a reminder that murdering us affects more than just us as victims. Transphobic violence affects families, friends, loved ones, sometimes whole communites.

Across this fucked-up planet of ours, trans women are murdered at the rate of one every 52.5 hours – if this figure was translated into the cis community, it would equate to one cis woman murdered every 23 seconds, for no reason other than that they were cis.

So don’t tell me that our numbers are too small to get worked up about; proportionately the murders of trans women are of a scale that, in other contexts, would be considered near genocidal. If 1,332,000 cis women globally had been murdered in the past two years, for nothing more or less than being cis women, would that be ignored the way our murders are? Because, by a quick back-of-an-envelope calculation, that’s what our murder rate would translate to in cis society.

One Response to “Puerto Rico: Woman stabbed to death in her own home”


  1. […] who is planning a memorial service and vigil. This morning I read about another mujer, Ashley Santiago, who was killed in Puerto Rico. I was thinking of all the vigils and rallies I have gone to, not […]


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