Claudia VeraAge 30
30 Mar 2019
TDoR list ref: tgeu/30-Mar-2019/Claudia Vera
Claudia was shot in the Independencia district of Lima in the early hours of Saturday 30th March.
On the street in the early hours were Claudia Vera and four other sex workers - also trans women of initial S, V, R and J, as confirmed by witnesses in the area.
Suddenly a couple entered the scene. A man of Peruvian origin urinated on the lamp post, located a few meters from the hotel Las Vegas, where Claudia and her four companions were. Beside him was a woman with a Venezuelan accent.
The dawn remained silent until the thin man began to scream. "Why the fuck are you looking at me, shit goats!" He exclaimed, according to several witnesses on the block. The woman who accompanied him joined in immediately: "Maricones! You are never going to be women. Pichulones, I do have a vagina! "
The woman, with a motorcycle helmet in her right hand, tried to hit Claudia and her colleagues on the street. After a few minutes of struggle and a brief exchange of blows and shoves, the couple left on a motorcycle, threatening loudly that they would return to kill them.
Almost an hour after the street brawl at just after 6 in the morning, the threats of the aggressor couple were fulfilled. Four people on two bikes stopped abruptly in front of the Hotel Las Vegas and one of them, without taking off his helmet, shot four bullets at Claudia - hitting here in the arm (near the shoulder), head, back and hip. A fifth bullet hit a passer-by on the leg identified as Jesús Montesinos Álvarez (30).
Two of the other sex workers who were with Claudia managed to enter the Hotel Las Vegas and, after a struggle with the shooter, shut the door. The slogan of the executioner was clear: to kill all the trans women he met on his way.
"They killed a fag!" Shouted the receptionist on duty at the nearby hotels. Another receptionist told Wayka that she even heard more than 5 shots and that she did not want to see Claudia's body on the floor, face down, half stooped, with a pool of blood under her face and another half a meter away, suggesting that she had crawled before she died.
Claudia was a trans activist, human rights defender and founder of Jóvenes Cambiando VIHdas, the HIV Youth Network in Peru.
Today, in the day of trans visibility, various activists will meet in the place where they murdered Claudia to ask for justice for her and for all trans women murdered by transphobic violence and state neglect.
Sandy Sussel, trans activist and Claudia's partner, told Presentes that the sit-in that will be held at 5 PM seeks to do justice for Claudia, "Because when it comes to a trans woman, the police do not investigate, they do not care who kills us and why?"
Various organizations and activists lament Claudia's death and demand the enactment of laws such as the law against hate crimes that protect the lives of trans people, who find themselves in a situation of total exclusion by the Peruvian State.
From the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) of Peru they said: "We regret the violent departure of Claudia Vera, trans fellow activist of Jóvenes Cambiando VIHdas, who contributed a lot to her outstanding work in favor of the community. Our condolences to friends and family. "
The organization Sí a vida said: "Not one more death! The human rights of transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual and intersex people (TLGBI) are not backed by norms and laws in the country. Today one of our instructors and volunteers was killed by several shots at point-blank range in the public thoroughfare in the district of Independencia. The young activist and promoter of HIV prevention Claudia Vera, fought for trans women to live in a society free of violence and hate crimes are punished severely in the penal code.
Argentine activist for the rights of people with HIV Mariana Iacono wrote: "I am deeply saddened. They murdered our beloved Claudia Vera. The first young trans woman to organize a meeting of young people with HIV in the history of Jóvenes Positivos LAC in Peru. Founder of the network of young people with HIV in Peru. With all her difficulties and help from other people she did not stop until she did it.
Trans hate - hatred for sex workers continue to kill them throughout Latin America. We ask for justice for Claudia, our friend and companion. Today Latin America and the Caribbean are in mourning because someone who thought the world could be a little better died. "