Francela Méndez was a known #LGTBI rights defender, who was part of the Colectivo Alejandría (Alejandría Collective) and member of the Red Salvadoreña de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (The Salvadorian Network of Women Human Rights Defenders).
Francela was committed to justice and building a more just, pluralist and democratic society. RIP.
Francela Méndez was killed in Sonsonate on the 31st of May. Francela is among the 8 transwomen killed in El Salvador this year and the second murdered transwoman who is a woman human rights defender.
Of particular concern are statements made by the PNC claiming that the investigation is connected to drug trafficking and the ways in which the media is manipulating the case. Both are cases of criminalizing the defender.
We demand the Salvadorian authorities to carry out an investigation that is serious, accountable and free from stigma, discrimination and prejudice so that this crime does not go unpunished. We also demand that officials abstain from making value-based judgments without concrete evidence or overstepping their boundaries.
Likewise, we urge the media to use appropriate language and pronouns with respect to Francela’s chosen gender identity and to abstain from making value-based judgements and unproven or defamatory assumptions.