Argentina: Update On Vanesa Ledesma's Murder, Further Letters Needed

Further Letters Needed

ADDRESSES:

IGLHRC supports the Vanesa Ledesma Action Network's - whose members are ATUC, ALITT, CHA and Queer Studies Area, from Buenos Aires University-, request that new protest letters be sent to:

Secretaría Privada de la Gobernación
Humberto I Nro. 467
(5000) Córdoba
Argentina
Phone (and fax): (54) 351 460 69 02

Please, send a copy to:

tendencias@marketingdeobras.com.ar

In case that address does not work, please try:

alitt@arnet.com.ar

and

cha@ciudad.com.ar

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

For background information and our previous action alert, see: 'HIV+ Transvestite In Police Custody, Dead Under Suspicious Circumstances'

UPDATE:

ALITT (Fight for Transvestite and Transsexual Identity Association) from Buenos Aires, Argentina, informs about the following developments in this case:

1. Actions at local level

  • Transvestite/Transsexual organizations from Cordoba province ATUC (United Transvestites Association of Cordoba, to which Vanesa Ledesma belonged) and OTTRA (Transvestite and Transsexual Organization of the Argentinean Republic) staged six public demonstrations demanding justice.
  • On April 9, Vanesa Piedrabuena, from ATUC, met with Cordoba's Minister of Government, Mr. Oscar González, and with the province's Human Rights Secretary, Mr. Guillermo Johnson. She also met with District Attorneys Dr. Ferrando and Dr. Dellavedoba (both from District 5) who are active on the case.
  • ATUC submitted a complaint to Internal Affairs Division, Cordoba Police, that was received by Under-Inspector Mario Delgado.
  • ALITT submitted three complaints: the first one to the Nation's Human Rights Secretary on April 5; the second to MP Marcela Bordenave, to be delivered to the Lower House's Human Rights Commission, on April 3; and the third one to the (human rights organization led by Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel) Servicio de Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ). In all cases, full documentation was submitted, including pictures of Vanesa Ledesma's tortured body.
  • CHA (Argentinean Homosexual Community), from Buenos Aires, requested to meet with the governor and with the Human Rights Secretary of Cordoba province. No answer has been received yet.
  • ALITT, CHA and the other organizations that are working on this case requested from Cordoba City's Ombudsman that a campaign to raise awareness of their rights among the transvestite population be implemented. They will also ask for the implementation of legal and social mechanisms that will stop the abuses that are registered on a daily basis.

2. Support from the international community

  • Up to date, the Cordoba City's Ombudsman and other authorities have received more than 300 protest letters. This pressure has been instrumental to mobilize the Ombudsman Office into action.

3. Responses from the authorities

  • Cordoba City's Ombudsman, Mr. José Samanillo, wrote a 12 pages long report in which he criticizes the slow pace of Justice regarding this crime.
  • Other authorities have not replied at all.