Press Release

IACHR Condemns Murder of Trans in Venezuela

June 7, 2012

Washington, D.C., -  The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of Lulú, a trans woman, in Caracas, Venezuela, and urges the State to investigate the crime and punish those responsible.

According to the information received, on June 3, 2012, Lulú (registered at birth as José Antonio Suárez García) was killed by the impact of several bullets. Media reports indicate that in the early hours of that morning, a car started to drive around the corner where she was with another two persons, vehicle from which the shots were fired. Social organizations and media reports indicate that this crime is the ninth murder of trans women that took place in Caracas this year, in a context of attacks and lack of investigation of the facts.

The IACHR reminds the State of its obligation to investigate such acts of its own accord and to punish those responsible. The Inter-American Commission urges the State of Mexico to conduct an investigation that takes into account whether this murder was committed because of the gender identity or sexual orientation of the victim.

The Commission continues to receive information on killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and other forms of violence and exclusion against lesbians, gays, and trans, bisexual, and intersex persons. In addition, the Commission notes that problems exist in the investigation of those crimes, which involve, in part, failures to open lines of investigation into whether the crime was committed by reason of the victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation. The ineffectiveness of the justice system fosters high rates of impunity, which in turn lead to the chronic repetition of such crimes, leaving the victims and their families in a state of absolute defenselessness.

The IACHR urges the State to take action to prevent and respond to these human rights abuses and to ensure that LGTBI people can effectively enjoy their right to a life free of discrimination and violence, including the adoption of policies and public campaigns and the amendments necessary to bring their laws into line with the inter-American instruments on human rights.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 59/12