“A common issue faced by Colombian trans women is extremely high levels of violence: between 2008 and 2013, the number of murders of trans people in Colombia was fourth-highest in the world.” Despite these deaths and other violent assaults, no one person has been charged, according to Santamaría Fundación’s Director of Institutional Processes, Déborah Skenassy. “Trans women don’t have access to health or justice because our bodies aren’t legitimized. We exist at the margins of the state.”
The police, she adds, are often part of the problem, denying help or arresting trans women without justification. Santamaría Fundación has documented 150 accounts of police abuse that have so far been ignored by superiors.