Cecilia Báez Barboza ("Caramelito")Age 35
22 Mar 2014
Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Cosmetic filler poisoning
Cecilia died in hospital of a pulmonary embolism after having a silicone injection in her buttocks.
On Saturday night, Cecilia was injecting silicones on her buttocks when she became ill and had to be taken by friends to the José Penna provincial hospital in Bahía Blanca. There she died hours later. "The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism," said Deputy Commissioner Gustavo Ceballos, deputy chief of the third police section. He confirmed that in the place where the practice was taking place, a humble dwelling in the Spurr neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, there was no doctor. The victim, a trans woman, was only there with friends.
Báez was 35 years old and had arrived from the province of Chaco to settle in Bahía Blanca. A little over two years ago she moved to Viedma, but returned shortly after.
Carolina Martinez, a member of the Association of Transvestites, Transsexuals and Transgenders of Argentina (ATTA), was not her friend but had a regular deal with her. She attributed the tragedy to the lack of public support in performing such procedures. "We have to put an end to these illegal practices and the injections of liquid silicone that sooner or later people pay dearly for. The State should take charge of these operations," she told Clarín.
She added that despite the identity law which allows trans people to have their documents in the name they chose, trans people still do not have full and comprehensive access to health coverage. In this case, it transpired that the liquid that Báez had injected was airplane oil and had affected an artery. "It is a very risky practice because it is placed between the dermis and the epidermis," Martinez said. She said that the consequences can include death or amputations. "There are many more cases than are known," she said and explained that in the search to femininise their bodies, many trans people resort to these clandestine practices for economic reasons.
"A backstreet operation of that type can cost about 2 thousand pesos, but while carried out with appropriate care, 14 thousand". Báez, whom in the nightlife of Bahía Blanca they called Caramelito, lived alone and until last night her relatives had not been located. Because of that, her body remained in the judicial morgue.
Cecilia's death was not recorded on the official TDoR 2014 list released by Transgender Europe (TGEU).