Belize Transgender woman's murder hate crime says family

El Guardian reports that police are investigating the January 12th murder of Joseph Sanchez, 18 as a robbery even though no money or personal items were taken as recorded by a video camera on a nearby school.
" Police found Sanchez motionless body on Elston Kerr Street, behind Gwen Lizarraga High School. He had a single stab wound to the chest. They’ve since reviewed camera footage of the attack which reveals that Sanchez was walking on the sidewalk when two men on bicycle rode up to him. He realized that the men intended to rob him, so he threw his phone away. At knife point, they frisked him, and he didn’t resist them in anyway. After taking what they wanted from him, the man with the knife inexplicably stabbed Sanchez in the chest. Investigators are puzzled as to why the assailants decided to murder Sanchez, since he cooperated completely."

That version is refuted by members off her family who say Sanchez has been afraid for her life after her boyfriend broke up with her. United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) reports that:
"Sanchez’s family is disputing the police’s theory that his death is as the result of a robbery, however. They say that that theory does not hold water because his cell phone and money were not stolen. They believe that the well-known cross-dresser was killed simply because he liked to dress as a woman."

"She said that he had been receiving death threats, and had been told on several occasions that he would be killed."

" Abner Sanchez, Joe’s brother, said that his brother was frequently harassed and threatened because he dressed in women’s clothing."

"Abner said that when he saw his brother at the morgue, he saw marks on his hands and face which made him believe that Joe fought with his attackers. He believed his brother was lured out of their house, and that whoever did so intended to kill him. He said that his brother’s phone had been handed over to police."

One report states that she used to be picked up at her house by men who conspicuously  never walked with her. in public.

Belize human rights advocates recently challenged the constitutionality of the Belize anti sodomy lays which carries a 10 year imprisonment and outlaws entry of LGBT people into the country. That effort was defeated  thanks to the efforts of Scott Stirm, a Texas evangelical who rallied local churches to keep this law.

*Note I am addressing Ms. Sanchez with female pronouns out of respect for her dress when she was murdered. R.I.P. Joseph Sanchez.

No comments: