In El Salvador, the Murder of Trans Woman Anahy Miranda Rivas Spotlights Epidemic of LGBTQ Violence

Lead Photo: Photo by Derek Brumby / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Photo by Derek Brumby / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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On Sunday, a transgender woman was murdered in El Salvador, prompting LGBTQ activists in the Central American country to demand greater protection from the government.

Anahy Miranda Rivas, 27, was snatched by a group of people in a van while on a street in San Salvador, the country’s capital, and dragged for several feet, the Washington Blade reports. The perpetrators fatally stabbed her with a sharp object and left her dying body near a nightclub.

She is the seventh trans person to be killed in El Salvador this year, Amalia Leiva, the trans programs coordinator for the LGBTQ rights group COMCAVIS, told the news outlet, and the latest victim of hundreds of attacks against the transgender community in the country.

Leiva, who called Rivas’ death “the third most violent,” is among a group of activists calling on the government to create policies and better enforce the ones already in place that protect trans people.

“We urgently need the mechanisms that have already been put into place with (El Salvador’s) National Civil Police and in the prosecutor’s office to be applied,” Leiva said.

For trans rights advocate Aislinn Odalys, greater protection and rights for trans individuals will provide them with more educational and job opportunities that could keep them from engaging in the high-risk street economy.

“The same system forces us onto the streets to work in sex work and expose ourselves to all kinds of people who can attack us,” Odalys said.

There are currently few details about the suspects in Rivas’ death. Aware that authorities rarely classify attacks on the LGBTQ community as hate crimes, activists are fighting to ensure her murder is properly investigated and those behind it are held accountable.