‘Caring’ trans mum-of-three brutally beaten to death with cement block before her killer ran off with her slippers

Lorena María del Luján Riquel, a trans woman known by her fellow activists as a caring mother, was found dead by a curtsied tree in Argentina. (Facebook)

A trans woman was murdered in north-eastern Argentina after a man lobbed a cement brick at her in the middle of the street.

Lorena María del Luján Riquel, a 39-year-old sex worker described by friends as a caring social activist and mother of three, was slain in the Rosario neighbourhood of Santa Fe in the early morning last Saturday (22 August).

At around 3.30am at Ruedea in 5500, a man struck Riquel with a cement brick before brutally beating her in the head with it. The perpetrator fled the scene with the victim’s slippers, who was half-naked, witnesses said.

Her body was found by a tree with the bloodied block by her and her head wrapped in a scarf, El Ciudadano reported.

Carlos Daniel, 32, was arrested in connection to the attack Tuesday morning (25 August) according to Roasario3.

Man raped a trans woman before striking her with a concrete block after she fainted, witnesses say.

Witnesses described how Riquel loudly argued with Daniel, who demanded money from her that she did not have.

Moments later, Daniel, witnesses said, pinned Riquel down and raped her. She fainted, during which he hurled a cement block at her.

The attack prompted fierce outcry from the community’s rich undergrowth of political activists. Riquel was a member of Argentina’s Corriente Clasista y Combativa (CCC), a pro-communist union group.

The CCC demanded “urgent investigation, clarification and arrest” of the assailant in a statement.

“Many times we have participated in mobilisations demanding justice for a murdered woman,” said CCC representative Vanania Otero.

“Today it’s our turn. Lorena was a happy companion, always at the forefront, supportive in the neighbourhood and very collaborative, she cared for her colleagues and neighbours, offering love and support. She went out to celebrate her birthday and found her death.”

CCC members, holding black and white print outs of Riquel’s face bearing slogans demanding justice for her death, barricaded the streets outside the doors of the city’s Criminal Justice Center Monday (24 August).

They were joined by one of Argentina’s largest sex worker unions, the Asociación de Meretrices Argentinas, which is cooperating with prosecutors as well as the victim’s family.

Police believe that the victim may have been sexually assaulted due to signs of trauma along Riquel’s body and are awaiting a coroner’s report as well as tapping into security surveillance footage to drive forward the case.