Two Arrested in Killings of Transgender feamales in Puerto Rico

The authorities stated they’d classified the fatalities as a hate criminal activity after the keeps of two females had been found in a defectively burned auto the other day.

Per week following the body of two transgender lady comprise present a poorly burned auto in Puerto Rico, the authorities said Thursday they had arrested two men relating to the killings together with switched them to the F.B.I.

The boys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, are taken into guardianship on Wednesday but I have not come energized, relating to Capt. Teddy Morales, the main of violent research the authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s eastern shore, in which the women’s keeps are available on April 22.

He stated the F.B.I. had absorbed the case and ended up being exploring Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil rights violations.

“We include classifying it a dislike criminal activity simply because they had been socializing using the subjects, and once they learned they certainly were transgender people, they chose to eliminate them,” master Morales said on Thursday.

Law enforcement said they were looking forward to autopsy leads to determine how the ladies was murdered. Activists posses determined the ladies as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies just who lived-in nyc. Their stays were located after people known as 911 to submit a burned vehicles under a bridge on a desolate street in Humacao, prior to 5 a.m. on April 22, Captain Morales stated.

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon were interacting with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez from the evening before these people were killed and were tape-recorded using one associated with the women’s social networking account, chief Morales said.

The guy said the police had furthermore tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon towards the killings through security camera footage and “scientific evidence,” which he dropped to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla confessed to taking part in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon turned himself in, the guy said.

Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for your F.B.I.’s San Juan field company, declined to go over the arrests but mentioned the bureau regularly collaborates with local, county and national agencies.

“The Bureau was and certainly will continually be enthusiastic about violent conduct which may fall within national jurisdiction,” she stated. “However, our plan is we really do not verify or refuse the presence of investigations, to guard the stability of every feasible investigative efforts.”

Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon could not right away end up being achieved for discuss Thursday nights, plus it had not been immediately obvious should they got attorneys.

In the event that the male is energized, it may portray a switching point in the management of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. folks in Puerto Rico, which includes a disturbing reputation for physical violence against homosexual and transgender folks, activists stated.

Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez had been the 3rd and fourth transgender men slain in Puerto Rico within the last few two months, activists mentioned. These people were additionally considered the 7th and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming people to currently murdered in the United States this season, based on the person legal rights strategy.

In past times 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. men and women have already been killed in Puerto Rico, per Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay rights activist. Just about three in the deaths stays unsolved, the guy said.

“These arrests is one step into the correct direction, but these murders need to be prosecuted as detest criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano said. “We need the us government to finish the research inside some other seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. folks on the island and serve fairness regarding of them.”

Ms. Velazquez stayed in Queens and Ms. Pelaez during the Bronx. Both got not too long ago moved to Puerto Rico, and are looking to fly to ny after this thirty days, in accordance with family relations and activists.

Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s cousin, stated Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon are arrested after a nearby broadcast place submitted photographs ones on fb and folks started initially to contact the station to understand them.

“We include extremely appreciative associated with the jobs that officials and the society added to locate just who did this,” she stated on Thursday.

She mentioned the photographs originated two video clips that Ms. Pelaez have published on her behalf Snapchat and Twitter profile, which confirmed the lady and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.

“I spotted the movies, therefore appeared like they were spending time along as pals,” she mentioned. “It seemed normal. There clearly was sounds playing when you look at the history. Everybody appeared good.”

She said the authorities have shared with her group just that men are in federal custody.

The killings came four weeks after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender guy, is murdered in Moca, P.R., in accordance with the peoples Rights promotion.

In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a well-known figure on Puerto Rico social networking who was transgender and homeless, is recorded to passing after a McDonald’s client complained that Ms. Negron have spied on her in women’s area.

Ms. Negron’s last minutes — framed inside the headlights of a car or truck amid a cackle of fun gay hookup — had been uploaded on social media, an undeniable fact that activists mentioned underscored the impunity homophobic attackers feeling when committing these types of crimes.