A trans sex worker was violently stabbed by her client in São Paulo, Brazil, last Wednesday (September 2) and her body carelessly thrown out of a 7th-floor balcony.
Chiara Duarte, 27, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in Rua Rangel Pestana in the downtown Sé neighbourhood in the early morning, police said.
The suspect, they said, met Duarte and invited her to his apartment. But the night curdled into violence after she asked for payment, sparking a heated argument in which he stabbed her several times with a knife, local mediareported. A merchant, Jeferson Pereira, 18, was arrested by authorities charged with manslaughter after being found with two knives.
Duarte, who both lived at and volunteered with Casa Florescer II, a shelter for trans people, was remembered by her loved ones as simply someone who wanted to be “happy”.
“It was prejudice, it was a hate crime, transphobia,” her brother, Luan, toldGlobo News.
Mother of slain trans woman mourns of the loss of her ‘beautiful’ daughter.
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Fala Mãe Londrina, a grassroots network for the mothers of LGBT+ people in Londrina, explained in a Facebook statement published September 4 that Duarte’s mother, who was unnamed, phoned up the shelter after learning of her daughter’s death.
“I want to make a wish for my daughter,” she told the shelter staffers, “my daughter is leaving with lipstick.
“She’s wearing a pink onesie and skirt. She looks beautiful. Needs lipstick, though.”
During Duarte’s funeral at São Luis Cemetery, the statement said, the victim’s mother reflected: “She looks beautiful, right?
“Look girl how beautiful she looks. Isn’t my daughter beautiful?”
Officers from Brazil’s state police agency Polícia Militar arrested Pereira after a witness said they saw him enter the apartment complex at the time of the killing.
In a nation now seemingly inured to homophobia, anti-LGBT+ violence has increased in Brazil in recent years, LGBT+ watchdogs warn. Last year, Brazil was found to be the deadliest country for trans people, with some tallies suggesting that a trans person dies almost every day in a nation of 200 million.
Unsurprising, activists say, considering the rise of Jair Bolasonaro, the country’s president who is a self-described “proud homophobe”. He often singles out LGBT+ people for the kind of vitriol once directed by populist towards migrants in the last decade.