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The State of Trans Women in Latin America

Being a transgender person anywhere in the world is dangerous, with hate crimes, discrimination, and violent acts occurring disproportionately, targeting specifically transgender women, especially those of color.

But perhaps nowhere is more dangerous than Latin America, where very few, if any, murders against transgender women are ever prosecuted.

According to Alvaro Bermejo, the executive director for the International HIV/AIDS/ Alliance, “Between 2005 and 2012 in Colombia, 60 transgender women were murdered without a single person having been brought to justice. In the same period 35 transgender people were killed in Guatemala with only one person undergoing legal proceedings.” Another shocking finding is that of all of the murders of transgender people in the world, 79% of them take place in Latin America.

This lack of legal support for the rights of trans women is just one of the major problems in Latin America.

There is a cultural prejudice against trans women that runs deep in Latin American countries. For trans women that live in this region, they face discrimination daily and are often the targets of profiling, being more likely to be detained without cause than any other group.

Because of the fear trans women face, very few of them will ever seek out medical help when they need it, choosing to keep their identities private in order to keep themselves safe.

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