Diana Sacayán’s murderer has been sentenced to life in prison

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Source: Notas Periodismo Popular / the Dawn News / June 19, 2018

A Criminal Court in Argentina gave a sentence of life imprisonment to Gabriel David Marino, the prime suspect in the murder of transvestite activist, Diana Sacayán. The accused found guilty of killing Diana Sacayán by stabbing her 13 times on October 11, 2015 in her apartment in Flores, Buenos Aires.

After 3 years and 12 hearings, the judges Adolfo Calvete, Ivana Bloch and Julio César Báez accepted public prosecutor’s demand and the two arguments, and ruled the first sentence of transvestiticide. This is a historic judgment in Argentina that sets a precedent for hate crimes towards sexually diverse people (LGBTQI).

At the pleas stage, the public prosecutor, Ariel Yapur considered Mario responsible for the “three times aggravated homicide because of gender-based hatred, gender-based violence and the relationship” of Sacayán and pointed out the “immense institutional responsibility” that the cause has for “the dimension of Diana as a victim” and for the “special interest” that international organizations have on the subject.

The 25-year-old convict was arrested a few days after the murder. The investigation proved his relationship with the victim, which was later confirmed by the accused, although in his version he denied that killed her. However, the Justice then determined that he would be charged for “three time aggravated homicide executed mediating gender based violence, hatred of gender identity, premeditation and robbery”.

While awaiting the verdict, the Justice Commission for Diana Sacayán mobilized people in the Plaza Lavalle where an open radio was held and the trial was broadcast live. Social and militant organizations for LGBTI rights remembered Sacayán, an internationally recognized transvestite activist and creator of Anti-discrimination Movement for Liberation (M.A.L.) in the year 2001.

Since then and after the creation of M.A.L., Diana intervened in public policies in favor of the inclusion of minorities. She was also a member of Sexual Diversity Program of National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADR) and was elected trans secretary of the Council of International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, the position she held at the time of her assassination.

One of her most memorable milestones is the Law of Trans Labor Quota, which bears her name since she was the creator and promoter of a unique law worldwide, which already achieved the support of several municipalities of Buenos Aires and national universities. The law establishes that at least 1% of the public jobs should be for “transvestite, transsexual and transgender people who fulfill the criteria for the position”.

“Her murder had a big impact on the transvestite collective, because while all deaths are significant it is not a minor fact that she has been a defender of our rights,” said her brother, Say Sacayán.

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