Times are increasingly difficult for the LGBTIQ+ community in Guatemala, especially for transgender women. On June 9, 2021, Cecy Caricia Ixpatá, a member of RedTrans, died at a local hospital after being violently attacked by two unknown men in Salamá, 256 km from Guatemala City.
Just two days later, on June 11, Andrea Mutz Gonzáles, a human rights defender and well-known transgender activist, was shot dead in Guatemala City. Andrea was only 28 years old. She stood out as a young transgender activist, political leader, and legal representative of OTRANS-RN. This important organization contributes to the integral development of transgender people in Guatemala. OTRANS-RN pointed out that Andrea wouldn’t have exceeded the life expectancy of transgender women in Latin America, which is 35. In their own words, “She was killed by bullets of hate, patriarchy, and the government’s dereliction of duty.”
These are not isolated cases. The high number of murders and other violent attacks against transgender women in Guatemala is the result of a hostile and violent environment with deep roots in a racist, patriarchal, and transphobic society. Unfortunately, this is the situation that transgender women have to face every day in Guatemala, Central America, and throughout Latin America.
We condemn these murders with utmost indignation, and we demand the appropriate authorities conduct a thorough investigation and prosecution of these cases. The Guatemalan state must take proper measures to guarantee and protect the human rights of its LGBTIQ+ population.
We recognize the vital labor carried out by OTRANS-RN and other civil society organizations in favor of transgender women in Guatemala. We express our sincere condolences to Andrea and Cecy’s loved ones, friends, and the entire transgender movement in Guatemala. Hivos reaffirms its commitment to stand up for LGBTIQ+ human rights and to continue supporting their struggles as we work to build just, diverse, and inclusive countries.