Target: Mr. Camilo Santana, governor of Ceará state, Brazil
Goal: Demand exemplary punishment for men who savagely killed a transgender woman.
A transgender woman has been beaten to death in Brazil. 42-year-old Dandara dos Santos was pulled out of her house in Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará state, and had her head and the body kicked, punched and hit with a plank of wood. Her killers dumped her in a wheelbarrow before she died and later shot and tossed her body. The brutal murder was recorded with a cellphone, while Dandara begged for her life. She is another victim of an epidemic of transgender violence all around the world.
The cold killing of Dandara dos Santos illustrates the extreme vulnerability of transgender people in our society. The sickened killers not only savagely physically attacked her but also made cruel taunts about her hormone-induced breasts and physical appearance and yelled homophobic insults, expressing no understanding of her condition as a transgender woman.
Brazil has the highest rate of violence against transgender people in the world. Dandara was the fifth transgender person killed in the country in the month of February, 2017. However, this is not an isolated trend. According to reports by the GLAAD Network, the year of 2016 was also the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States, exceeding 2015 which previously held the horrific title. These fatal events add to unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and vulnerability to non-deathly forms of violence that are so familiar to gender non-conforming people.
Authorities said that nine suspects in the Dandara case have already been found and detained and investigations will keep going. Demand that the cruelty of this killing is not forgotten and that none of the attackers walk away.
Dear Mr. Santana,
The killing of 42-year-old transgender woman Dandara dos Santos shocked not only Brazil but the whole world. Dandara is another victim of prejudice, violence, and hatred that overwhelm transgender people all over the world. She lost her life only because she was not conformed to standard patterns of sexuality and gender identity.
Dandara’s death is outrageous, and her killers’ coldness is disgusting and heinous. Considering the increasing rates of violence against the transgender community in Brazil and abroad, I urge you to send a strong message against intolerance to your country and the world. I demand you to dedicate your entire office’s resources to find each of Dandara’s attackers and recommend exemplary punishment to them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ted Eytan