Briza Garces FlorezAge 40
2 Jan 2022
Den Haag, South Holland (Netherlands)
Briza's body was found covered in blood in a hotel on Sunday 2nd January. The previous day another guest had seen her boyfriend chasing and hitting her in the hotel car park.
It's hard to stay positive in such a situation. I am angry. Sad might be a better word, because I have to do my best not to let the tears roll down my cheeks. I'm in the university library with a busy schedule and deadlines to meet, but I can't get my head around it. It's just been a week 2022, but it's already going with huge peaks and troughs. While I was so happy and proud this morning about the good news from MJ Rodriquez, I now feel completely lost. On the second day of the new year, the first murdered trans woman of 2022 will be a fact.
The messages have been circulating on social media in recent days: a woman had been murdered in the Van der Valk Hotel in Wassenaar . After a few days the redeeming word came out. The murdered woman was Briza Garces Florez, a 40-year-old sex worker from The Hague. Although originally from Colombia, she had lived in the Netherlands for over 20 years and had built up a large community in the The Hague area.
In addition to all these things, Briza was also a trans woman. A beautiful trans woman in the prime of her life. She was who she wanted to be, who she'd always wanted to be, and was stripped of her future. Taken from who she could have been. It pains me to see that it once again has to come to the point where trans people are murdered. It is, however, a surprise to see that many Dutch media are picking up the message. At least, compared to other murders of trans people. Perhaps because it was still unclear at first that it was a trans woman? Because in general, the murders of cisgender people are picked up much more often and the murders of transgender people go under the radar. Such was the last time the murder of Özge Bilirwho made the national news, and only after all of social media was full of this and criticized the fact that the news was not picked up.
Her boyfriend has been arrested for her murder.
A hotel guest had previously heard the couple arguing in the car park on New Year’s Day, adding: “The man was a big guy and the woman was a bit smaller. I saw them chasing each other and he hit her. It was bizarre.”
Briza had lived in the Netherlands for 20 years. She did sex work in order to live and help her family.
A spokesperson for Trans United Europe said they are “in shock” at the Colombian trans woman’s death, adding: “We demand justice for Briza.”
The group included the hashtag ‘Say her name’ and wrote “Always in our hearts”.
The victim had reportedly lived in the Netherlands for 20 years. A friend in Amsterdam told local media: “It was her decision to work in prostitution to help her family and herself. She was very nice and sociable, and kept away from bad people.”
Another friend has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for the victim’s funeral because “her next of kin does not have the financial means to arrange a dignified farewell”.
The investigation into her untimely demise is ongoing,