Penelope Díaz RamírezAge 31
13 Apr 2020
Bayamón (Puerto Rico)
Strangled and hanged
TDoR list ref: tgeu/13-Apr-2020/Penelope Diaz Ramirez
Penelope was found hanging in a cell within the Bayamón correctional complex. Another inmate confessed to killing her.
The Comprehensive Committee for the Search for Equity (CABE) demanded that the authorities not rule out any angle - including hatred - in the investigation of the murder of [deadname] Díaz Ramírez, who was found hanged with signs of violence on April 13 spent at the Bayamon correctional complex.
“We just learned that another member of our LGBTTIQ community has been killed. This is [deadname] Díaz Ramírez, whom they called Penelope. There is no longer any doubt, this is an epidemic of anti-LGBTTIQ violence. The Police have the obligation to disclose the status of the investigations of at least eight murders, one death without a specific cause and several attacks in which LGBTTIQ people have been injured since January 2019, ”said Pedro Julio Serrano, CABE spokesman.
Charges for murder and destruction of evidence were filed today against José Villafañe Cotto, 32, for events that occurred at the Correctional Complex in Bayamón, police reported.
The inmate confessed that in the night hours of last April 13, in cell 29, of building 5, section A-5, he used a piece of cloth to strangle [deadname] Díaz Ramírez, 31 years old. Later, he destroyed the evidence used to commit the crime.
Penélope —otra víctima de la ola de violencia anti-LGBTTIQ en Puerto Rico— fue encontrada ahorcada y con hematomas en su cuerpo el 13 de abril en la cárcel de Bayamón.— Pedro Julio Serrano (@PedroJulio) April 25, 2020
Penélope es la quinta persona trans o que no confoma el género asesinada en dos meses.#JusticiaParaPenélope pic.twitter.com/HMythDvgdi
A third transgender woman was killed this week in Puerto Rico, part of an ongoing “epidemic of violence” targeting the LGBTQ community. At least nine people have been killed since January 2019.
The bodies of two transgender women were found inside a badly burned car earlier this week.
There is no longer any doubt, this is an epidemic of anti-LGBT+ violence,” activist Pedro Julio Serrano said. “The police have the obligation to disclose the status of the investigations of at least eight murders, one death without a determined cause, and several attacks in which LGBTQ people have been injured since January 2019.”
Penélope Díaz Ramírez was killed on April 13. Her death was not reported until now.
The two other victims as Layla Peláez and Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos by local activists. Police say DNA testing will be required to officially identify the women, but Peláez’s grandmother was able to identify her granddaughter’s car when she saw it on the local news.
“Never in my career have I seen so many reports of deaths of our transgender and gender non-conforming community in such a short time in one location,” Tori Cooper, director of the Human Rights Campaign‘s transgender justice initiative, said after the latest murder.
“Penélope did not deserve to die. Transgender people do not deserve to die. Every single advocate, ally, elected official, and community member must stand up in light of this horrific news and say ‘No more.’ What we are doing is not enough.”
“Transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially women of color,” she added, “are too often the victims of a toxic mix of transphobia, racism, and misogyny.”
“They are hunting us,” Serrano said.