A week after Brazil beat the record for trans people elected in municipal elections, new data from the Trans Murder Monitoring (“Observatório de Trans Murderos”, in English) indicates that, in the first nine months of 2020, 124 transsexual people were killed in Brazil. As a result, the country ranks at the top of the ranking of the most violent for this population for the 12th consecutive year. Mexico and the United States follow, with 45 and 24 murders reported, respectively. The information is from Exame magazine.
The National Association of Transsexuals and Transvestites (ANTRA) estimates that, of the identified cases, 82% reached people of African descent.
Because it is rejected by the family itself and also by the labor market, the overwhelming majority of trans people are driven to seek their livelihood in informal jobs, especially prostitution. The sum of this unfavorable situation with the covid-19 pandemic and the increase in police brutality around the world makes 2020 one of the most violent years for the trans population.
As of September alone, 350 murders have been reported – an increase of 6% over the whole of last year. Of these deaths, 82% occurred in Latin America, 43% of them in Brazil, where local data are compiled by Antra. In addition to the Black Consciousness,this Friday, the 20th, theInternational Day of Transgender Memory is also celebrated.
Family rejection, economic marginalization and, mainly, impunity for violent acts are the factors that explain the continuous increase in these numbers year after year. But in Brazil, hate speech from the top echelons of public administration further exacerbates this reality.
“When a President of the Republic says something homophobic with pride, it is a signal to Brazilians that they can do the same”, he explains Cristian Cabrera, Human Rights Watch researcher in an interview with EXAME. “This encourages violence as it suggests that people will not be punished for their acts of violence.”