Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado
14 Nov 2009
Cayey, Puerto Rico (USA)
Stabbed, decapitated and dismembered
TDoR list ref: tdor.info/14 Nov 2009/Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado
Jorge was found dead on an isolated road. They had been decapitated, partially burned and dismembered.
Juan Antonio Martinez Matos, 26, confessed to the murder. Reportedly he killed them after discovering that they were not a cisgender woman.
Finding accurate information to identify murder victims as trans or killed because of their gender presentation is a consistent challenge. Just this week the brutal murder of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado was reported as that of a “gay teen” with male pronouns used when referring to Lopez Mercado. There has been very little coverage of the fact that Lopez Mercado was a sex worker with a female presentation. Murder suspect Juan antonio Martinez Matos said he thought Lopez Mercado was female but then “realized that the teenager was actually male.”
I don’t know how Lopez Mercado identified, but Martinez Matos’ statement tells us that they didn’t conform to his strict understanding of gender: Martinez Matoz thought Lopez Mercado was female and then changed his opinion, the reason given for the murder. So Lopez Mercado’s name has been added to the list of those we remember.