News » Crime

More Details Emerge in Murder of Puerto Rican Trans Women Michellyn Ramos Vargas

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday October 3, 2020

Michellyn Ramos Vargas
Michellyn Ramos Vargas  (Source:Facebook)

More details have emerged regarding the murder of a transgender women in Puerto Rico, including the victim's name: Michellyn Ramos Vargas.

Initial reports said that the victim - unnamed at the time - had been "fatally shot" and that her body had been "was found along an isolated road near a farm in the town of San German" on Sept. 30.

Puerto Rican news source The Americano reports that Vargas was 35 years old, and provided some biographical information, saying that Vargas "lived in the vicinity of La Plata in the Lajas municipality and was studying to become a nurse. She worked in a factory in the Sábana Grande municipality."

The article also confirmed that Vargas' murder is the sixth slaying of a trans person in Puerto Rico this year.

Puerto Rican LGBTQ equality advocate Pedro Julio Serrano condemned the killing and accused the territory's government, headed by Gov. Wanda Vázquez, of "look[ing] the other way."

Forbes reported on Vargas' killing, adding her death to the overall toll in American lives that anti-trans violence has claimed so far in 2020. The Forbes article said that Vargas "joins a long list of mostly black and Latinx transgender women" noting that she is "believed to be, at least, the 30th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the U.S."

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement in which the group's Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, Tori Cooper, underscored the recent spate of lethal anti-trans violence. "At least three transgender women have been killed in less than two weeks," Cooper said.

"We are not doing enough to protect transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially trans women."

On Sept. 28, two days before Vargas' body was found, protestors gathered in front of the governor's mansion to demand an end to violence against women in the territory.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Comments on Facebook