Unique Mausoleum for Transgender Women : A Beacon of Hope in Mexico City

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Transgender Women Mausoleum in Mexico City

A Unique Resting Place for Transgender Women in Mexico City

In Mexico City, transgender rights activists Kenya Cuevas and Andrea Luna visited the pink grave of their dear friend, Paola Buenrostro, whom someone tragically killed in 2016. They will relocate Buenrostro as the first individual to the newly inaugurated mausoleum designed exclusively for transgender women.

This burial site, located in Iztapalapa, the most densely populated borough of Mexico City, is the first of its kind in the nation. The mausoleum aims to provide a dignified resting place for many transgender women, some of whom were victims of hate crimes, while others passed away from natural causes.

Mexico’s Disturbing Statistics on Transgender Killings

Mexico ranks second globally, following Brazil, in the number of transgender people killed.

From January to July 2023 alone, the LGBTQ rights group Letra S reported that 25 transgender women had died.

Between 2017 and July 2023, the group recorded a staggering 586 murders of LGBTQ individuals, with over 58% of the victims being transgender women.

The Catalyst for Change

Kenya Cuevas became a prominent activist in 2016 after witnessing the brutal murder of her friend Buenrostro. Despite having evidence and multiple witnesses, the perpetrator was released from custody shortly after the incident. This injustice propelled Cuevas to abandon her profession as a sex worker and establish the organization Casa de Muñecas, advocating for the rights and protection of transgender women. This organization was instrumental in founding the mausoleum.

Capacity of the Mausoleum

The burial site is designed to accommodate 149 women. Notably, this includes Buenrostro and Indigenous transgender rights activist Guadalupe “Lupilla” Xiu, who endured torture and kidnapping after fleeing her hometown of Oaxaca. She passed away alone on September 9.

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Furthermore, Cuevas has been involved with the deaths of 60 transgender women, and families have taken 48 of them. The capital’s Attorney General’s Office will soon exhume and relocate the remaining 12 to the mausoleum.

In light of this, Cuevas views this initiative as a significant step towards reparation.

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