Amancay Diana SacayanAge 39
11 Oct 2015
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
TDoR list ref: tgeu/13-Oct-2015/Amancay Diana Sacayan
Diana's body was discovered tied to her bed and covered in blood. She had been stabbed 13 times.
Her killing sparked an outcry from the country’s trans community – who face an extremely high murder rate.
Sacayán was well respected in her home country for her work with LGBT rights group Movimento Antidiscriminatorio de Liberación and role as an alternate representative of the Trans Secretariat on the Board of ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association).
In 2012 she was one of the first transgender citizens to change their legal gender and was issued legal papers directly by Argentina’s president Cristina Kirchner.
In June 2018 her killer, Gabriel David Marino, 25, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Buenos Aires criminal court. Marino was the first person in the country to be found guilty under a law that targets gender and hate violence against transgender people.
In October 2020 an appeal confirmed the sentence but ruled that the crime did not meet the aggravating circumstance of "hate crime against gender identity".
A few days after the anniversary of the death of the transvestite political leader, Diana Sacayan, last Tuesday, the ruling of the National Chamber of Criminal and Correctional Cassation of the CABA was announced, confirming the sentence of life imprisonment for her murderer, Gabriel Marino, but ruling that the crime did not meet the aggravating circumstance of "hate crime against gender identity."
After the defendant's appeal to the “Sacayán Judgment” issued by Oral Court N ° 4 in June 2018, the Chamber decided that, despite the force and international support that the ruling of “travesticide” had at the time to condemn the murder of the [trans] activist, there is no evidence to prove that Diana was murdered because of her gender identity, among other things. It reduced the sentence to one for femicide and places her [solely] in the condition of "woman", which further reduces the significance of her death.
The removal of the aggravating factor makes the [trans] identity invisible. According to the Observatory of Violence against LGBTI People in Latin America and the Caribbean (ILGA), “violence against LGBTI people has a specificity not only in terms of what motivates it - hatred or rejection of sexual diversity and its multiple manifestations - but also in what it does in its particular way of imprinting itself on the body of the chosen victims. There is an added cruelty to her, a certain cruelty aimed at leaving an indelible mark on the tortured body.
The ruling caused controversy in Argentina.
The "Furia Trava" exploded social networks and crossed screens. To the beat of the hashtag #FueTravesticidio, various government personalities and political referents spun demonstrations of repudiation of the Cassation ruling.
Florencia Guimaraes, a [trans] activist and member of the Furia Trava organization, denounced on her Twitter account that “The cassation decision to remove the figure of transvesticide in the crime of Diana is also a great blow to all those families who today are asking for other transvesticides. That is the message that remains on the part of the judicial system ”.
The Undersecretary of Diversity Policies of the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity, Alba Rueda, considered that the ruling "from the human point of view is a scandal, it is cruel, it is to deny our [trans] identities within the scope of justice".
The Head of the Specialized Prosecutor's Unit on Violence against Women (UFEM) of the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Nation, Mariela Labozzeta, denounced that “the exclusion of the aggravated by gender hatred ordered by Cassation is a setback for all the acknowledgments that the judgment of the case had incorporated , ” and affirmed that the MPF will appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court of Justice.
Along the same lines, Luciana Sanchez, a lawyer who represented Diana Sacayán's family during the trial, highlighted in Nacional Rosario that "although the sentence is upheld, it takes away its meaning" and added that "this is to erase Diana, erase their identity, which profoundly reveals that this is the struggle of the trans transvestite collective, because in identity life goes. He also stated that "once again we find a judiciary that is reluctant to recognize [trans identities].
On 20th October 2020 prosecutors lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling.
TvT project: Washington Blade & InfoJusNoticias, 14.10.2015