A trans woman was sitting in a bar enjoying drinks with friends. Moments later, she was shot dead by three masked men

Trans woman Dorothy de Lima was shot 10 times by three masked men, loved ones and authorities said. (Facebook)

Trans woman Dorothy de Lima, 40, was sat in a bar in Brazil Sunday evening (July 26) when three masked men burst into the building and gunned her down – killing her instantly.

De Lima was shot in Caaporã, Paraíba, according to local media, at around 6pm. Law enforcement said that she died at the scene.

The trans woman had narcotics on her person, authorities said, leading investigators to allege the crime may have been sparked by drugs.

Local activists said in a Facebook post that de Lima, who, they said, worked as the local Prefecture, was shot by the men 10 times when she left the bathroom.

To Brazil LGBT+ activists, de Lima’s death is the latest case of one of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities suffering the brunt of a president’s administration that has sought to ratchet up tension among minorities.

Despite the criminalisation of homophobia and transphobia, Brazil is the deadliest country in the world for trans people.

The death of Dorothy de Lima is the latest in a long line of trans murders in Brazil. 

According to Transrespect Versus Transphobia Worldwide, Brazil has been the site of around 130 reported killings of trans and gender-diverse people between October 2018 and September 2019.

In 2019, the country witnessed 124 trans folk murdered, a dossier produced by the Associação Nacional de Travestis e Trasnexuais stated.

Out of all recorded killings across the globe, the sprawling country has witnessed the most killings. But these figures understate the problems, as misgendering by family, media and officials are common.

President Jair Bolsonaro has previously called himself a “proud homophobe” and has said he would rather have a dead son than a gay one.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro. (Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro. (Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

Trans folk, one of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in Brazil, have been haunted by a spectre of violence in recent years. Activists have warned that Bolsonaro has done little to tackle this.

In fact, some LGBT+ groups have warned, he has done more to fan flames of hatred in the country.

Indeed, Bolsaonro’s homophobia has seeped into his policy-making and general attitudes towards one of the largest public health crises that Brazil has ever faced – the coronavirus pandemic. While tens of thousands of Brazilians perished due to the rampaging virus, Bolsarno reportedly refused to wear a face covering because they are, to him, “too gay”.

It was no surprise then that the 65-year-old has tested positive for COVID-19 two times, yet he remains relaxed about social distancing measures and even openly flouts them, defying the pleas of the country’s top public health officials.