Trans woman Alejandra Salazar found strangled to death in her own home. She is the 106th trans person to be killed in Argentina this year

A social media profile picture of Alejandra Salazar wearing a pink top

Alejandra Salazar, a trans woman who went missing around one week ago, has been found dead by authorities, strangled to death in her apartment with a paper bag over her head.

The days-long search for Salazar, 54, in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Balvanera, Argentina, seized the local community. But neighbours reported fetid smells from an apartment complex on 2200 Corriented Avenue.

Buenos Aires City Police said, according to the Diario De Cuyo online news outlet, that the building’s administrator had not seen the victim for once week.

Officers found the naked body of Salazar, her head lying on the floor by her bed, they said, with sex toys scattering the floor. They added that initial reports estimate the date of death to around seven to 10 days ago.

Salazar, they said, was from Peru.

LGBT+ advocacy groups ‘demand justice for Alejandra Salazar’ as trans death rates reach dizzying heights 

Local LGBT+ activist group La Rosa Naranja Civil Association mounted her death on Twitter. According to the network’s tally, Salazar is the 106th known trans person slain in Argentina this year alone – 105 trans women and one trans man have died in 2020.

“Today (14 December) we mourn the death of another trans colleague,” the group wrote in the statement. “It was a trans murder! We demand justice for Alejandra!

“Our condolences to all [her] relatives, friends and acquaintances.”

Monitoring groups put the number of known murdered trans folk in 2020 to 15, but stress that the figure fails to grasp the true spectre of violence trans Argentinians face.

With misgendering of victims commonplace among police agencies and the press, countless trans murders go unreported.

Data provided by police is often incomplete, forcing many LGBT+ campaigners to sieve through sometimes unreliable news reports to capture the full extent of the violence.

For years, activists have stressed the ever-widening gulf between Argentina’s advanced LGBT+ rights and the realities trans people face.

Argentina’s 2012 Ley de Identidad de Género, or “gender identity law”, enshrined one of the most robust sets of rights to trans people in South America. Such as granting gender affirmation surgeries as part of public and private health plans and changing gender markers on identification documents without the need for approval from a doctor or judge.

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