Trans woman stabbed to death in Chile during an attempted robbery

Trans campaigners in Santiago, Chile, where a landmark trans rights law has been passed

An unidentified trans woman was stabbed to death in Santiago, Chile, on Saturday morning (31 August) during an attempted robbery, according to local media.

The Metropolitan Homicide Brigade of the Investigative Police is investigating the cause of death of the woman that happened in Chile’s bustling capital city.

According to preliminary police reports, the woman and another trans woman–both reportedly from Columbia–approached a Haitian man on the corner of San Antonio and Monjitas streets.

Just outside a local pharmacy in the downtown district, the woman approached the man with a knife, according to security camera footage seen by police.

The man then snatched the knife out of her hand and retaliated in self-defense, mortally wounding her in the process.

Local police quickly arrested the other trans woman, while medical professionals treated her wounded accomplice.

She was later transferred to the Legal Medical Service (Servicio Médico Legal).

No charges have been placed by the Prosector’s Office.

Trans rights in Chile

Chile, a strongly Roman Catholic country, only legalised divorce in 2004. Yet the country has made huge leaps for LGBT+ rights in recent years.

Occupying a long, narrow strip of South America, the country has also had a long history with enshrining protections onto its queer community.

The country introduced hate crime laws in 2012 in a bid to provide protections for the LGBT+ community.

While Congress passed a bill legalising civil partnership in 2015.

LGBT+ Chilean rights group Fundación Iguales pushed for a gender identity law which finally passed in September 2018, allowing trans people over the age of 14 to legally change their gender.

Moreover, the president of Chile’s upper house of Parliament, Jaime Quintana, has said it is likely to pass a marriage equality bill this year.

Although, Chile’s current president, Sebastián Piñera, has in the past specified that his government will not prioritise this measurement.

Nevertheless, Chileans overwhelmingly support LGBT+ rights. A survey in July this year showed 65% of Chileans above the age of 18 supported marriage equality.