Sometimes individual stories can help bring understanding to a complex national story. Sometimes they just leave questions. The article At the Devil’s Door: The unsolved murder of Tania Vasquez does both.
Danielle Mackey explores the unsolved murder of a transgender activist in a country where violence against the LGBT community is high, and almost never prosecuted:
Tania was a transgender activist in a country where it’s dangerous to be openly not heterosexual and especially to be transgender.
One February afternoon in 2013, she stood with a megaphone at a busy street corner outside the National University of El Salvador, where someone had written, in soot-black, 2-foot tall letters: “Defend your homeland, Kill a lesbian or a gay.”
Tania and 20-odd others gathered, denouncing the daily discrimination they face: denied jobs, ostracized from families and schools, targeted for violent attacks by cops, gangs and civilians. They painted over the graffiti. When the sun set, they lit candles and observed a minute of silence in honor of their murdered peers. Nearly 500 LGBT people — including many transgender women — have been killed in El Salvador since 1995, El Faro reported last month, and activists say that none of the murders has been solved.
Three months later, on May 4, 2013, Tania became the next victim. Her roommates said she went out that afternoon to meet up with friends. Her body, with its single gunshot wound, surfaced two days later, wrapped in black plastic near downtown San Salvador, Diana said.Read the rest of the story here and get a fuller understanding of the of the life-or-death struggle which is life for a transgender person in El Salvador.