At 1:40 a.m. Monday morning June 6th, 19-year-old transgender woman Karlota Gómez Sánchez was found shot to death in an intersection in San Juan’s Santurce district.
Puerto Rico Police Cmdr. Orlando Meléndez who ignored Karlotta’s transgendered identity and identified the her, the victim as Carlos Alfredo Gómez Peña. reports that “What we have is he [the victim] approached a vehicle and there were shots.
Puerto Rico LGBT Activist Ada Conde says that local authorities should investigate Gómez’s death as a hate crime and Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in a statement said:
“It is imperative that in this case the authorities follow Attorney General Obdulio Meléndez’s order that prosecutors investigate the hate angle in all crimes committed against any member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender communities,” added Serrano in a statement. “On the other hand, we have to elevate our voices on what is clearly an epidemic of homophobic and transphobic violence.
There have been 17 LGBT murders in Puerto Rico over the last year and a half. These include Ashley Santiago and gay teenager Jorge Steven López Mercado. Alejandro Torres Torres was found stabbed to death in Ponce on June 4