Two detained in Killings of Transgender ladies in Puerto Rico

The authorities stated they’d classified the fatalities as a detest crime following remains of two girls were present a severely burned auto a week ago.

Per week following the body of two transgender lady comprise found in a terribly burned automobile in Puerto Rico, law enforcement mentioned Thursday they got detained two guys relating to the killings along with transformed all of them over to the F.B.I.

The males, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, happened to be used into custody on Wednesday but have maybe not already been billed, in accordance with Capt. Teddy Morales, the chief of criminal research for police in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east coastline, where women’s keeps are entirely on April 22.

He said the F.B.I. have taken over the situation and had been investigating Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil-rights violations.

“We were classifying it a detest crime because they were interacting making use of sufferers, and once they realized these were transgender females, they decided to destroy them,” Captain Morales said on Thursday.

The police said they were awaiting autopsy brings about figure out how the ladies was indeed killed. Activists bring determined the ladies as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two company exactly who lived-in New York City. Their particular stays happened to be discovered after you known as 911 to report a burned automobile under a bridge on a desolate roadway in Humacao, before 5 a.m. on April 22, head Morales stated.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon was indeed socializing with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez regarding nights before they certainly were murdered and happened to be tape-recorded on a single in the women’s social media marketing accounts, Captain Morales said.

He stated the authorities got additionally tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon towards killings through security camera video footage and “scientific research,” which he dropped to outline. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to participating in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched themselves in, the guy stated.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for all the F.B.I.’s San Juan field company, declined to talk about the arrests but mentioned the bureau consistently collaborates with local, county and federal organizations.

“The agency try and will be enthusiastic about violent conduct that could drop within national legislation,” she said. “However, all of our plan try we really do not confirm or refute the presence of investigations, to protect the stability of every possible investigative effort.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon couldn’t immediately getting reached for touch upon Thursday evening, plus it wasn’t instantly obvious as long as they have attorneys.

If guys are recharged, it may signify a flipping part of the maneuvering of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, that has a disturbing reputation for assault against gay and transgender everyone, activists mentioned.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez had been the third and fourth transgender men killed in Puerto Rico in the last 8 weeks, activists stated. These people were also thought to be the seventh and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals to currently slain in the United States in 2010, according to the person Rights venture.

In the past 15 period, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. folks have already been murdered in Puerto Rico, per Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay rights activist. Just about three of the deaths continue to be unresolved, he stated.

“These arrests include one step inside proper direction, nevertheless these murders need to be prosecuted as detest crimes,” Mr. Serrano said. “We urge the federal government in order to complete the research inside additional seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. group regarding area and provide justice for all of them.”

Ms. Velazquez lived-in Queens and Ms. Pelaez for the Bronx. Both have recently moved to Puerto Rico, and they were intending to fly back to New York after this month, based on friends and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s cousin, said Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon happened to be detained after a nearby broadcast station posted files of these ethnicity adult dating on myspace and other people began to call the section to understand them.

“We become very appreciative of jobs the officials together with people added to locate who did this,” she stated on Thursday.

She mentioned the images originated two video that Ms. Pelaez got published on her behalf Snapchat and fb account, which confirmed this lady and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“we spotted the video clips, plus it appeared like these people were spending time collectively as family,” she said. “It felt typical. There was clearly musical playing into the background. Everybody seemed good.”

She said law enforcement got informed her family members best that people were in federal guardianship.

The killings came four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender people, had been killed in Moca, P.R., in accordance with the individual Rights Campaign.

In March, Alexa Negron Luciano, a popular figure on Puerto Rico social media who was simply transgender and homeless, was actually shot to death after a McDonald’s customer reported that Ms. Negron have spied on her behalf during the women’s area.

Ms. Negron’s final times — presented for the headlights of a vehicle amid a cackle of fun — had been submitted on social media, a fact that activists said underscored the impunity homophobic assailants feel whenever committing such crimes.