Authorities in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez on Sunday found the dismembered bodies of a lesbian couple along a local highway.
The dismembered body parts of Julissa Ramírez and Nohemí Medina Martínez were found in plastic bags that had been placed along the Juárez-El Porvenir Highway.
El Diario, a Mexican newspaper, reported the married women lived in El Paso, Texas, which is across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juárez. Authorities said relatives last spoke with Ramírez and Medina on Saturday afternoon.
A source in Ciudad Juárez with whom the Washington Blade spoke on Thursday confirmed Ramírez and Medina “were lesbian women” and their murder was “very violent.”
Members of Comité de la Diversidad Sexual de Chihuahua, an LGBTQ rights group in the state of Chihuahua in which Ciudad Juárez is located, and Chihuahua Gov. María Eugenia Campos Galván are among those who have expressed outrage over the women’s murders. Comité de la Diversidad Sexual de Chihuahua on Wednesday also urged local and state authorities to investigate whether the murder was a hate crime.
“People of sexual diversity are questioned, including their existence through heteronormative discourse,” said the group in a statement. “They have the right to a life free of violence in which they exercise all their rights, in addition to living without fear or fear of rejection and aggressions that can unfortunately escalate to hate crimes.”
El Diario reported Ramírez and Medina are two of the nine women who have been reported killed in Ciudad Juárez since the beginning of the year.
Personas de las Diversidades Afectivo Sexuales, an LGBTQ rights group in Ciudad Juárez, and feminist organizations on Thursday organized a protest during which participants demanded local, state and federal authorities do more to end to violence against women in the city. The press release that announced the demonstration specifically cited Ramírez and Medina.
“We seek justice and clarification in the murder of Nohemí and Yulissa, a lesbian couple who was found in Juárez-Porvenir Highway,” it reads.