TDoR 2020 / 2020 / March / 05 / Yampi Méndez Arocho

Yampi Méndez Arocho

Age 19

5 Mar 2020
Moca, Puerto Rico (USA)

TDoR list ref: tgeu/5-Mar-2020/Yampi Méndez Arocho

Yampi Méndez Arocho
Yampi Méndez Arocho [photo:]

Yampi's body was found in a local park with gunshot wounds to the face and upper back. He had reportedly had an altercation with a woman earlier in the day.

A 19-year-old transgender man named Yampi Méndez Arocho was attacked and later shot to death in Cuchillas, a town in the northwestern Puerto Rican municipality of Moca.

While LGBTQ activists in the island nation are now asking the police to investigate the murder as a hate crime, others are upset that both the police and local media reports initially misgendered Arocho.

Police reports state that Arocho had been attacked by a woman five hours before he was later found dead in a local park with four gunshot wounds: two in his face and two through his upper back. Though the woman has since been interviewed by police, when police questioned Arocho’s parents, they allegedly referred to Arocho using his deadname.

As a result, Arocho was misgendered in initial police and media reports. Members of the local LGBTQ community say that Arocho referred to himself as a man, presented as male, and used “he” pronouns.

Police are still investigating but they say that they haven’t yet figured out a context to help explain why Arocho was murdered. The local LGBTQ organization, the Broad Committee Search for Equity (CABE), are demanding that police “not rule out any angle in their investigation.”

Yampi had reportedly suffered harassment from the woman with who he had been an altercation shortly before his murder.

The 19-year-old [man] who was murdered on Thursday night in Moca had suffered an alleged pattern of harassment by [a] female with whom [he] had an altercation hours before [his] murder, [his] brother said.

The victim, identified as [deadname] Méndez Arocho, known as "Yampi", was shot dead at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday on the PR-4444 road in the El Limón sector of the Cuchillas de Moca neighborhood near a ball park.

On 7th July 2021 two suspects were charged with murder:

A 16-year-old adolescent and another 18-year-old, alleged perpetrators of the murder of Yampi Méndez Arocho, were charged with murder in the first degree, infractions of the Weapons Law and threatening witnesses this afternoon, at the end of an investigation that began On March 5, 2020, when the 19-year-old was killed in a sports complex in the Limón sector in the Cuchillas de Moca neighborhood.

The suspects, identified as 18-year-old Nelvin Nieves and 16-year-old Leonardo Soto Butler, faced charges as adults. Both were brought before Judge Juan Guzmán Escobar, who imposed a bond amounting to $ 190,000.

At the time of the incident, both suspects were minors.

Report added: 28 Mar 2020. Last updated: 10 Oct 2021

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This site contains reports of violence against transgender people, and links to detailed reports which contain graphic imagery.

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