The murder of a prominent transgender activist in Argentina has sparked outrage across the country.
Clarín, an Argentine newspaper, reports Alejandra Ironici was found dead in her home in Santa Fe, a city in Santa Fe province that is roughly 285 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, the country’s capital, on Sunday.
Ironici’s 22-year-old nephew found her body at around 11 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET).
Reports indicate Ironici’s body showed signs that she had been beaten and burned. A 32-year-old man with whom Ironici had been in a relationship has been charged aggravated feminicide and transfemicide.
Ironici, 45, in 2012 became the first trans person in Argentina to legally change their gender on their national ID document without a court order. She was also the first trans woman to undergo sex reassignment surgery at a public hospital in the country.
Ironici was the first openly trans person elected to Santa Fe’s city government.
Activists who participated in a march in Santa Fe on Monday demanded justice for Ironici.
Esteban Paulón, an LGBTQ and intersex activist in Argentina who lives in Santa Fe province, on Tuesday told the Washington Blade that he knew Ironici for more than 20 years.
Paulón said Ironici “more than anything was a militant, was a committed person who gave everything she had and more to the community.”
“She was one of the biggest motivators behind many of the advances that we have achieved in the province,” Paulón told the Blade.
“Alejandra Ironici’s femicide is evidence that machismo, patriarchy and violence is taking lives with impunity,” added Paulón.
ATTTA (Asociación de Travestis, Transsexuales y Transgéneros de Argentina) in a statement noted Pancha Quebracha, a well-known drag queen in Mar del Plata, a city in Buenos Aires province, was found dead inside her home on Sunday. ATTTA pointed out violence and discrimination based on gender identity remains commonplace in Argentina, even though the country remains at the forefront of the global LGBTQ and intersex rights movement.
“The life expectancy for trans women in Argentina is 41 years,” said ATTTA. “Our community faces violent situations that often times end in transfemicides because of machismo and patriarchal impunity.”
ATTTA in its statement also calls upon Argentina’s government to strengthen existing laws that are designed to protect LGBTQ and intersex people and to implement “an agenda of public policies where nobody is left behind.”