Transgender advocates in Puerto Rico
claim murders in the U.S. territory are severely under reported.
According to the International
Transgender Day of Remembrance's website, only one Puerto Rican
transgender woman, 31-year-old Ashley Santiago Ocasio, was murdered
in 2010 and none are listed for 2011.
Sophia Isable Marro Cruz, the
spokeswoman for Transexuales y Transgeneros en Marcha (Transexuals
and Transgenders on the Move), told Hispanically
Speaking News that the number should be much higher.
“The most notorious was Karlota, a 19
year old who was murdered on gay pride day in Santurce. But that
isn't the only murder here. We know of one young woman who was
murdered in Ponce in September. Two more were shot and then run over
in the south near that same time. Another was shot in a fight while
trying to help another woman. The last one was beaten until she
died. We even think there's another one from Manatí, in the
northern part of the island, but we cannot confirm it yet,” Marro
“None of these cases have been
considered by the state as hate crimes despite offenders even
admitting that their motivation was the 'homosexual panic,'” she
added. “This shows an extreme level of homophobia and
Marro Cruz spoke out during the 13th
Day of Remembrance, which took place on Sunday.