Guatemala: 3 Killings of LGBT People in a Week

Unidentified assailants killed two transgender women and one gay man in Guatemala in separate attacks within the span of one week, including Andrea González, the leader of a trans rights organization, Human Rights Watch said today. The Attorney General’s Office should conduct prompt, thorough, and independent investigations into these cases to bring those responsible to justice. Guatemalan civil society organizations reported that these 3 recent killings bring the total killings of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people so far in 2021 to at least 13. The Ombudsperson’s Office reported that in 2020, at least 19 people known to be LGBT were murdered in Guatemala. “To protect LGBT people and prevent 2021 from becoming one of the deadliest years for gender and sexual minorities in Guatemala, authorities need to pursue accountability for these killings,” said Cristian González Cabrera, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Investigations by the Attorney General’s Office should prioritize establishing whether the victims were targeted on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity or their work defending LGBT rights.” Andrea González, killed on June 11 in Guatemala City, was the legal representative and a leader of OTRANS Queens of the Night (OTRANS Reinas de la Noche), an organization that advocates for the rights of transgender women, including with respect to sexual health, sex work, and legal gender recognition. In recent months, González had sought help from the Attorney General’s Office over threats she had been receiving. González’s killing prompted calls for investigations and expressions of solidarity with LGBT people in Guatemala from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Swedish and United States embassies in the country.