UN urges probe into LGBT deaths in El Salvador
SAN SALVADOR: An uptick in deadly violence against transgender women in El Salvador prompted the United Nations on Friday to call for an investigation into crimes against sexual minorities in the conservative Central American country.
This year, seven transgender women were killed in El Salvador, said the Geneva-based Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Local LGBT organisations put the death toll at 17 through the first four months of the year. Last year, at least 25 transgender women were killed.
Leading transgender activist Karla Avelar said local gang members had demanded money and made threats that forced her to flee her home six times in the past two years.
Avelar, who leads a local transrights organisation, said she had no faith that local authorities could protect her from gangs who routinely demanded extortion payments from residents and businesses.
“Criminals operate within the same institutions of government.
“So, how can you entrust your life to them? How can you entrust your security to these institutions?”
Avelar, 40, is a finalist for the 2017 Martin Ennals Award, an international prize for human rights activists, but said the gang members had already sought to extort some of the future prize money if she won.
“I won’t wait for them to kill me. And, how am I going to give them something I don’t even have?” Reuters