The transgender community has experienced continuous difficulties throughout their fight for recognition and equality. Most recently, president Donald Trump went back on his word to protect transgender students by revoking the bill that made it mandatory for public schools to let trans students use the bathroom of their choosing.
But it isn’t only in the US where transgender people are dealing with discrimination, and worse — just look at the case of Dandara dos Santos, a Brazilian trans woman who was murdered last month.
Her murder sparked outrage after video of her being beaten by five men surfaced online. In the video, the 42-year-old sits on a concrete street wearing tattered clothes, covered in blood. Men surround her taking turns hitting her with a shoe and then a wooden plank while she begs for her life.
After dos Santos was put into a wheelbarrow, she was allegedly shot twice in the face and bludgeoned, according to Brazilian authorities. The killing, which itself was not recorded in this video, took place in Fortalez, in the state of Ceará, on February 15.
Since the release of the video, three teenagers and two men were arrested for the murder.
The killers are also reportedly involved in drug trafficking and other crimes. Police are still looking for additional suspects.
Bruno Ronachi, a police officer leading the investigation, told The New York Times:
“This was a very cruel crime and it shocked us.”
Last year, there was a record high of 144 transgender people killed in Brazil, according to Rede Trans, a Brazilian monitoring site. In the US, there have already been seven trans woman of color killed in 2017.
The video caused a crucial impact, and the transgender community acknowledges this.
Sayonara Nogueira, a trans woman and Rede Trans’
coordinator, told the news outlet UOL:
“The repercussions only came after the video was released. If not, it would have been ignored.”