Reported as the fifth murdered trans person in Brazil in the last month, the murder of Dandara dos Santos – a 42-year-old trans woman – has shocked the globe following harrowing footage moments before she was brutally killed.
Attacked in broad daylight in front of residents in Fortaleza, Ceara state, Brazil, the horrific footage caught on a phone camera captures the woman being kicked in the face, thrown into a wheelbarrow and carted to a backstreet where she was murdered out.
As she wipes blood off her beaten body in a heartbreakingly confused state, homophobic heckles of “they will kill the faggot” were hurled at her in Portuguese and she was mocked for her hormone-therapy induced breasted and gender identity.
Police Inspector Damasceno has since told press that six individuals have been identified from the video following the footage being circulated around LGBT activism groups online. Dandara was the fifth trans person to be murdered last month in Brazil, in a rising endemic and threat to South America’s trans communities.
Brazilian broadcaster Globo reported that in January 2016 alone, 48 trans women were murdered in Brazil, with NGO Livre Orientação Sexual (Free Sexual Orientation) explaining it as a potential low estimate. Brazil holds the unenviable record of having the highest number of homophobic and transphobic murders in the world, despite it being one of the most lawfully progressive countries in South America for LGBT+ people.
In the recent VICELAND documentary Gaycation with Ellen Page, the LGBT+ advocate exposes the country’s endemic and meets a serial killer of gay people face-to-face.
“We used to patrol and the only thing I didn’t like were gays. If I saw them on the way I’d run them over,” he tells her. “I did not care what was going on. I didn’t even care for the consequences.”
It is the duty of the L,G and B across Brazil and the globe to come out in support and solidarity of the trans men and women of Brazil. It is trans women who paved the way for the whole community throughout history and we must be grateful and aware of so.
Remember her name. Dandara dos Santos. Stay angry. Protect TWOC. March on.