The police mentioned they had labeled the deaths as a hate crime following the keeps of two lady are present in a badly burned auto last week.
Each week following figures of two transgender ladies comprise within a poorly burned auto in Puerto Rico, the police said Thursday that they had arrested two guys in connection with the killings along with turned them over to the F.B.I.
The men, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, had been used into custody on Wednesday but have maybe not started energized, relating to Capt. Teddy Morales, the principle of unlawful investigations for police in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east coast, where the women’s keeps happened to be available on April 22.
He mentioned the F.B.I. got bought out your situation and was exploring Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for feasible civil-rights violations.
“We is classifying it a detest criminal activity because they had been interacting using sufferers, and once they learned they were transgender people, they chose to destroy them,” chief Morales mentioned on Thursday.
The authorities stated these were waiting for autopsy results to determine how the ladies was indeed murdered. Activists bring recognized the ladies as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two buddies which lived-in nyc. Their particular remains had been discover after someone called 911 to report a burned automobile under a bridge on a desolate highway in Humacao, right before 5 a.m. on April 22, head Morales stated.
Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon were socializing with Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez on the evening before they certainly were killed and were recorded on a single regarding the women’s social media marketing records, Captain Morales said.
The guy mentioned the authorities got in addition tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon to your killings through security camera footage and “scientific evidence,” which he dropped to outline. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to taking part in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon transformed himself in, he stated.
Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for F.B.I.’s San Juan area office, decreased to discuss the arrests but mentioned the bureau regularly collaborates with neighborhood, state and national companies.
“The Bureau is actually and will always be thinking about violent conduct that could drop within federal jurisdiction,” she mentioned. “However, our very own plan is actually we really do not confirm or reject the presence of investigations, to protect the stability of every possible investigative energy.”
Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon would never straight away become hit for comment on Thursday nights, therefore wasn’t right away clear when they had solicitors.
In the event the men are charged, it may portray a turning reason for the managing of criminal activities against L.G.B.T.Q. folks in Puerto Rico, which includes a disturbing reputation for physical violence against gay and transgender visitors, activists stated.
Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez had been the 3rd and next transgender people murdered in Puerto Rico within the last few 2 months, activists mentioned. They were furthermore thought to be the seventh and 8th transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals to have been slain in the United States in 2010, based on the people legal rights venture.
Prior to now 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. folks have already been slain in Puerto Rico, according to Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay liberties activist. All but three from the fatalities stay unresolved, he mentioned.
“These arrests become a step inside proper way, however these murders have to be prosecuted as hate criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We need the us government to complete the research inside the more seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. anyone throughout the island and provide fairness for all of these.”
Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez in Bronx. Both have lately traveled to Puerto Rico, in addition they comprise looking to travel back once again to New York later this period, according to family unit members and activists.
Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s cousin, mentioned Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon are detained after a nearby radio place posted graphics of those on Twitter and other people began to phone the section to identify them.
“We is awesome appreciative associated with the work that officials and also the community input to obtain whom did this,” she said on Thursday.
She mentioned the images originated two videos that Ms. Pelaez had posted on the Snapchat and Twitter reports, which demonstrated the woman and Ms. Velazquez interacting with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.
“I spotted the movies, and it appeared like they were spending some time with each other as friends,” she stated. “It seemed typical. There was clearly musical playing for the history. Every Person felt okay.”
She said the police had told her family members best your males comprise in federal custody.
The killings came monthly after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender people, got murdered in Moca, P.R., in line with the peoples liberties Campaign.
In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a famous figure on Puerto Rico social networking who was transgender and homeless, was shot to death after a McDonald’s consumer complained that Ms. Negron got spied on her behalf during the women’s space.
Ms. Negron’s best moments — presented when you look at the headlights of a car or truck amid a cackle of fun — had been uploaded on social media marketing, an undeniable fact that activists stated underscored the impunity homophobic assailants believe whenever committing such crimes.