TDoR 2019 / 2019 / May / 23 / José Matías De la Fuente Guevara

José Matías De la Fuente Guevara

Age 16

23 May 2019
Copiapó, Atacama (Chile)

José Matías De la Fuente Guevara
José Matías De la Fuente Guevara [photo:]

Matías died by suicide after suffering constant bullying and transphobia at his school. Staff refused to recognise his gender and in death he was misgendered by the authorities.

The Movement of Homosexual Integration (Movilh) denounced the suicide of a 16-year-old trans youth in Copiapó, a city in northern Chile. On Thursday, May 23, Matías jumped from the building where he lived. He left a sucide note stating that he had suffered constant bullying at his school, the Sacred Heart Lyceum. To date, the school has not issued a statement.

Movilh demanded intervention by the Ministry of Education (Mineduc) in the case. In addition, they denounced the fact that the representative of Education, Silvia Álvarez, referred to the deceased in female, although he identified himself as male.

Matías suffered "constant bullying because of his identity from other students, as well as some officials from the Sacred Heart Lyceum who rejected his gender expression. They also point out that the high school management did nothing when they knew of the existence of episodes of bullying, "said Movilh spokesperson Daniela Andrade.

A march and vigil for Matias was held on Tueday 28th May 2019.

José's mother, Marcela , said her son had begun the social transition at age 13. She tried to create a WhatsApp group with other parents, but left the group after José's death. In the last conversation she had with him, she asked him to change his school, without knowing that the institution was punishing him for being different. The mother accused the teachers and the school inspector of treating José badly, humiliating him after having discovered his trans identity.

"My son always felt marginalized ... he spent many hours exposed to strange looks, comments and ridicule. As a mother I can say that I do not want to go to that school anymore, I want them to be stained with my son's blood. "

In January 2020 the school was fined for its part in Matías's death.

During the afternoon of yesterday the mother of José Matías, a trans adolescent who on May 23, 2019 took his own life after having received constant bullying and harassment by his companions at the Sacred Heart High School in Copíapó, was called to the offices of the Superintendency of Education to learn the results of the investigation carried out by into the institution to the school authorities.

It was ruled that the high school was responsible for failing to comply with all the regulations relating to the circular on the rights of girls, boys and trans students.

Likewise, they did not implement or publicize the opportunity for students to seek gender recognition, so José Matías was left without any opportunity to develop his gender identity.

Finally they indicate that the educational establishment was sanctioned with the maximum sanction, which is equivalent to 55 UTM.

In March 2020 Matías's mother Marcela Guevara published a book she had written to tell her son's story:

"My son deserves it, it is a way of paying a great tribute to what his life was, it is my mother's vision, how the experience of losing a child felt after he committed suicide."

Report added: 28 May 2019. Last updated: 8 Oct 2022

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