Michelle Carrasco "Chela"Age 54
16 Mar 2007
TDoR list ref: tdor.info/16 Mar 2007/Michelle Carrasco "Chela"
Michelle was beaten so badly her face was completely disfigured. Her body was left abandoned in a pit.
At approximately 8 a.m. on the morning of March 16, authorities in Santiago discovered the lifeless body of a transgender prostitute. Family members later identified her as 54-year-old Michelle Carrasco – or "Chela," as her friends called her.
Carrrasco, her face completely disfigured, had been left in a makeshift pit, presumably by the person who at some point during the previous night brutally attacked her while she worked the road to Melipilla, waiting for clients in Santiago’s Lo Espejo district.
Two weeks later, her family and friends are still trying to cope with the horrific murder. "We’re doing so badly, just bad," says Zujeiy Carrasco, the victim’s niece. "You know where she was working, right? It’s just that she didn’t have any other choices," she adds, trying unsuccessfully to hold back the tears.
Adding to the tragedy is the fact that Carrasco’s death came just a week-and-a-half after a transgender person named Moira Donaire González was also murdered, in Viña del Mar, Region V. González, 30, died on March 5 after being stabbed five times by a street vendor.
"We’re just indignant. To put it simply, today in Chile the State is not guaranteeing a basic human right for a certain sector of the population, and that’s the right to life," says Rolando Jiménez, president of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Freedom (MOVILH).
"Ultimately, that right isn’t guaranteed because the transgender population, in this society, is forced to support itself in the sex trade. For the people in that line of work, it’s a context that is absolutely precarious and dangerous and in which they’re vulnerable."