Graphic video has been released of a transgender woman, Dandara dos Santos, 42, being beaten by a group of men in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, Ceara.
Dos Santos was reportedly dragged from her home into the streets, then punched, kicked, and attacked with shoes and a plank of wood in front of residents. Soon after, the assailants dumped Dos Santos into a wheelbarrow and rolled her to a back alley where they continued beating her to death.
The person who filmed the video can be heard saying in Portuguese, “they will kill the f*ggot,” while laughing. The attackers also hurled homophobic and transphobic insults.
Police Inspector Damasceno is investigating the death and said, “Six people have been identified and the video has helped with that. The footage was first circulated among LGBT groups, which helped that process.” He continues, “The police began circulating the clip and we arrived at the house of two of the people identified but they fled. The investigation is already well advanced and we are going after the killers.”
The murder of Dos Santos on February 15 seems to be one of many in a surge of anti-LGBTQ violence in Brazil. According to activists, transgender people face some of the harshest and most mutilating attacks. Brazil’s Trans Network reports Dos Santos as the fifth transgender person to be murdered last month according to Daily Mail.
The Ceará government released a statement regarding Dos Santos’ murder saying, “The Government of Ceara hereby expresses its deepest condemnation of acts of violence and intolerance as what was practiced against Dandara dos Santos, killed by brutal beating.” They continue, “This government believes in and supports, through a human rights framework linked to the Office of the Governor and current public policies that pluralism, diversity and tolerance are fundamental values for democracy…these are inalienable pillars of an inclusive and just society. The Special Coordinator of Public Policies for the State of Ceará LGBT has among its tasks the execution of service policies and affirmation of gender minorities, as well as the effective contribution to the debate on all issues relating to the LGBT population.”
It appears a lot of work must be done to fight for the safety and livelihood of trans people in Brazil.