Editors' Note:Guest blogger Dante Alencastre is a filmmaker and activist of Peruvian descent. He emigrated to the United States in 1976. Dante is currently working on a documentary on American transgender role models and recently premiered his documentary En El Fuego at LA OUTFEST.
On January 28th, 2009, a television news report showed an incident in which neighborhood watch patrols in the city of Tarapoto, Peru, chased and caught a travesti and her companion and then physically humiliated and insulted them. Neighborhood watch members cut their victims' hair and forced them to strip before subjecting them to a series of military training exercises until they collapsed from exhaustion. Throughout the ordeal, a crowd of onlookers made fun of the victims.
The perpetrators are seen on video insulting, and threatening the transwoman and boasting to the media about their way of getting rid off the "criminal" in their town.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) joins MHOL and RedLacTrans in requesting that you send emails asking Peruvian authorities to investigate this incident.
We ask that you publicly condemn this episode, ensure that authorities make a full and fair investigation into the crime, and guarantee that once the perpetrators have been identified, they will be punished to the full extent of the law. We also ask that you closely monitor the way in which neighborhood watch associations throughout Peru treat sexual minorities, insist that their members undergo mandatory training to diminish homophobia and transphobia, and do everything possible to ensure that similar crimes are not repeated in the future.
Peruvian authorities should respect and protect the rights of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
We trust that you will give this issue the attention it deserves.
Please send your letters to:
Sr. Remigio Hernani Meloni
Ministro del Interior
Ministeriodel Interior Plaza 30 de Agosto s/n Urb. Corpac - San Isidro firstname.lastname@example.org
Gral. PNP Luis Hugo Mezarina Ponte?Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos del Sector Interior email@example.com
General de Policía PNP Mauro Walter Remicio Maguiño ?Director de la Policía Nacional firstname.lastname@example.org