Death of trans doctor in Mexico sparks new fears over LGBT+ violence
Share this article:
MEXICO CITY - Mexican
authorities said on Friday they were investigating the death of
a leading transgender health advocate whose body was found
dumped by a motorway, reigniting fears over the safety of trans
people in the country.
Elizabeth Montano, a transgender doctor who worked at the
Mexican Social Security Institute, had been reported missing for
nearly 10 days, authorities said, before her body was found near
the town of Tres Marias, some 50 kilometers south of Mexico
The Mexican capital prosecutor's office said it was
collaborating with the Morelos state justice system to follow up
on the investigation and "deliver results soon.”
“We are in contact with (Montano's) family to whom we send
our solidarity," said Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum on
Twitter. "We expect a prompt result of the investigations from
Despite recent progress on LGBT+ rights, with same-sex
marriage legal in more than half the country’s states, Mexico
remains a dangerous and often deadly place for gay and trans
Last year, 117 LGBT+ people were killed in Mexico, up almost
a third compared with 2018 and the highest number since 2015,
according to local advocacy group Letra S.
LGBT+ activists lamented Montano’s death as the silencing of
an important trans rights advocate in the health sector, where
transgender people often face discrimination accessing care.
Montano had trained local doctors on transgender care,
according to Siobhan McManus, a trans rights activist, and was
planning on expanding the trainings nationwide.
“It’s a huge loss because still in this country many doctors
see trans identities as a disease, a disorder,” McManus said.
“Elizabeth was a transformational force within medical
communities and was a very important voice,” she told the
Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Transgender women are among the most vulnerable to attacks
in a country where murder rates have soared due to drug
Last year, the number of murder victims among the general
population increased 2.5%, but the number of gay and trans
victims was 27% higher than in 2018, according to Letra S.
More than half the victims were transgender women, the
Montano’s death "is a powerful reminder ... of the violent
situation that LGBT communities live in, and particularly trans
populations,” said Alex Orue, executive director of LGBT+ youth
suicide prevention group It Gets Better Mexico.
“It’s cruel on so many levels.”
The Mexico City prosecutor’s office said Montano’s body was
found with her belongings and without signs of violence.