Ecuador: Murder of trans woman sparks fears of rising anti-LGBT+ violence

The killing of a transgender woman in Ecuador has ignited fears of a rise in anti-LGBT+ violence following recent gains in the South American country, activists said on Thursday.

Family members found the body of a 40-year-old trans woman known as β€˜La Gata' on Wednesday in the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, the eighth case of murder or violent or unclassified death of a trans woman this year in Ecuador.

According to rights activists, one trans person was killed in all of 2018.

Diane Rodriguez, president of the Ecuadorian Federation of LGBTI Organizations and the first trans woman elected to Ecuador's National Assembly, said the spate of deaths has the community in shock.

"Once again, the LGBT community in Ecuador is in mourning," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "We thought (the attacks) were going to decrease, but on the contrary, we've been surprised by this year's statistics."

Earlier this week a trans woman named Karla Fernanda Silva died in Cotopaxi province after taking diet pills laced with rat poison, local media reported.

The series of transgender deaths follows a string of recent victories for the LGBT+ movement in Ecuador. Read more via Reuters