January 1, 2016 at 10:34 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Men to go on trial for murder of Argentina trans advocate

Diana Sacayán, Argentina, gay news, Washington Blade

Diana Sacayán, a prominent transgender rights advocate in Argentina, was found murdered in her apartment in Buenos Aires on Oct. 13, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Esteban Paulón)

An appeals court in Argentina has ruled that two men can go on trial for the murder of a prominent transgender rights advocate.

The Télam news agency on Dec. 30 reported the 4th Court of the Federal Court upheld Judge Gustavo Pierreti’s ruling that said Gabriel David Marino and Félix Alberto Ruiz Díaz can be tried for aggravated homicide in connection with Diana Sacayán’s death

Police on Oct. 13, 2015, found Sacayán stabbed to death inside her apartment in the Caballito neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

Télam reported that Sacayán met Marino while undergoing treatment for drug addiction. The news agency said the Federal Court also took into account Marino’s biological material that authorities found on a condom that had been left in a bathroom inside the advocate’s apartment.

Sacayán, 40, was the director of the Anti-Discrimination Liberation Movement, an Argentine advocacy group. She was also a member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

Sacayán in 2012 personally received an identity card from then-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner that recognized her as a woman after the country’s landmark trans rights law allowing people to legally change their gender without undergoing sex-reassignment surgery took effect. Sacayán also spearheaded last year’s passage of a law that requires officials in Buenos Aires Province to set aside at least one percent of public sector jobs to trans people.

Fernández described Sacayán’s murder as a “horrible crime.” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power described the advocate’s death as a “visceral reminder of why we must succeed in LGBT rights efforts.”

OutRight Action International last month paid tribute to Sacayán at a conference in New York City that drew hundreds of LGBT rights advocates from around the world.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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