Law enforcement said they’d categorized the deaths as a dislike criminal activity after the keeps of two people were found in a terribly burned car last week.
Per week after the system of two transgender female comprise within a poorly burned car in Puerto Rico, law enforcement stated Thursday they have arrested two males associated with the killings along with switched all of them up to the F.B.I.
The boys, Juan Carlos Pagan Bonilla, 21, and Sean Diaz de Leon, 19, happened to be used into custody on Wednesday but I have perhaps not started billed, in accordance with Capt. Teddy Morales, the main of criminal research when it comes down to authorities in Humacao, on Puerto Rico’s east shore, where the women’s keeps comprise entirely on April 22.
He said the F.B.I. had bought out happening and was actually exploring Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon for possible civil-rights violations.
“We tend to be classifying it as a dislike crime because they had been socializing making use of the subjects, and once they discovered they were transgender people, they made a decision to eliminate all of them,” head Morales stated on Thursday.
The police stated these people were looking forward to autopsy results to regulate how the women was basically slain. Activists has determined the women as Layla Pelaez, 21, and Serena Angelique Velazquez, 32, two friends just who stayed in nyc. Their particular remains had been discovered after individuals labeled as 911 to document a burned car under a bridge on a desolate road in Humacao, prior to 5 a.m. on April 22, master Morales mentioned.
He stated the authorities have in addition tied up Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon towards killings through security camera video footage and “scientific proof,” which he decreased to detail. Mr. Pagan Bonilla admitted to participating in the killings, and Mr. Diaz de Leon switched themselves in, he said.
Limary Cruz-Rubio, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I.’s San Juan industry company, declined to go over the arrests but mentioned the agency regularly collaborates with local, condition and national agencies.
Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon couldn’t instantly getting reached for comment on Thursday evening, and it also was not immediately clear should they have lawyers.
In the event that the male is charged, it can signify a flipping part of the managing of crimes against L.G.B.T.Q. people in Puerto Rico, that has a disturbing reputation of violence against homosexual and transgender someone, activists mentioned.
Ms. Velazquez and Ms. Pelaez are the third and fourth transgender anyone murdered in Puerto Rico in the past 2 months, activists stated. These people were additionally considered the seventh and eighth transgender or gender-nonconforming men and women to have been slain in the United States this year, in line with the individual liberties strategy.
In past times 15 several months, 10 L.G.B.T.Q. individuals have become killed in Puerto Rico, relating to Pedro Julio Serrano, a gay rights activist. All but three in the fatalities remain unsolved, the guy said.
“These arrests were a step from inside the right course, however these murders need to be prosecuted as hate criminal activities,” Mr. Serrano stated. “We need the government to complete the research into the additional seven murders of L.G.B.T.Q. people in the area and serve justice regarding of these.”
Ms. Velazquez lived in Queens and Ms. Pelaez during the Bronx. Both have not too long ago traveled to Puerto Rico, and were planning to fly back into nyc afterwards this period, according to relatives and activists.
Luz Melendez, 29, Ms. Pelaez’s relative, said Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon are arrested after a regional broadcast facility posted photographs of those on fb and folks started initially to contact the facility to spot all of them.
“We become awesome appreciative with the efforts your officials and neighborhood place in to locate exactly who performed this,” she stated on Thursday.
She said the adsm4adam photographs came from two video that Ms. Pelaez got published on her behalf Snapchat and Facebook profile, which demonstrated the woman and Ms. Velazquez socializing with Mr. Pagan Bonilla and Mr. Diaz de Leon.
“I watched the films, and it also seemed like they were hanging out with each other as pals,” she mentioned. “It felt normal. There seemed to be audio playing in the background. Folks seemed okay.”
She stated law enforcement have shared with her families just the guys are in national custody.
The killings emerged per month after Yampi Mendez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender man, got murdered in Moca, P.R., in line with the people liberties Campaign.
In February, Alexa Negron Luciano, a well-known figure on Puerto Rico social media who was transgender and homeless, ended up being shot to passing after a McDonald’s buyer reported that Ms. Negron got spied on her behalf inside women’s space.
Ms. Negron’s best moments — presented inside headlights of a car or truck amid a cackle of laughter — were posted on social networking, a fact that activists mentioned underscored the impunity homophobic assailants feel whenever committing such crimes.