Consternation in Mexico after the death of Jesús Ociel Baena, an influential leader of the LGBTI collective who was threatened

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Thousands of people demonstrated Monday night in Mexico’s capital to demand justice for Jesus Ociel Baena, an influential figure LGBT who has been found dead in her home in the city of Aguascalientes, in the center of the country, after receiving death threats. Baena was the first openly non-binary person to assume a judicial position in Mexico, in the state Electoral Court of Aguascalientes, and broke other barriers in a country where members of the LGBTI community are often the target of violence.

The state attorney general’s office confirmed that Baena was found dead Monday morning along with another person, whom local press and community advocacy groups identified as his partner, Dorian Herrera. State prosecutor Jesús Figueroa Ortega said in a press conference that the victims presented wounds apparently caused by a knife or some other sharp object.

“There are no traces or indications to determine that a third person other than the deceased was at the scene of the crime,” he declared. The suggestion of suicide as a possible hypothesis in the deaths quickly sparked outrage and LGBTI groups pointed out that it was another attempt by the authorities to hide violence against the community. People who knew Baena said that in recent weeks she seemed cheerful and spoke passionately about the future.

The country’s Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, pointed out that the authorities were investigating the events and it was still unknown “if it was a homicide or an accident.” Some homicide investigations in Mexico have been quickly downplayed by authorities, who have labeled them crimes of passion. Alejandro Brito – director of the group Letra S, which defends the rights of the LGBTQ+ community – said that Baena’s presence on social networks made him a target, and called on the authorities to take that context into consideration during their investigation. .

“He was a person who received many messages of hate, threats of violence, even death. So, It is impossible to investigate these violent events without taking into account the context,” Brito said. “Elle, magistrade, was breaking that circle of invisibility in which this community was locked.”

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