Luisa Sandoval Lemus

Luisa Sandoval “Wicha” (24) was a trans woman defender, living in the municipality of Puerto de Barrios, near the city of Guatemala. She was a member of the Collective Trans of Izabal, an organization that promotes the human rights of trans women in Guatemala. On 27 February 2020, she disappeared. On 02 March her body was found by her neighbours, showing signs of torture and genital mutilation.

Wicha was described as a humble and quiet person, of modest means who worked in a bar in the municipality. She was a human rights defenders for trans women who lived in a country where her mere appearance meant a daily struggle. A place where not following the rigid gender rules meant being at risk. We show our deep support to trans women defenders, like Wicha, who fight every day for a better world, a world where human rights for all people are guaranteed.

The Office of the Human Rights Attorney informed Presentes Agency that they were aware of the case and they will follow-up the investigation. Similarly the organisation Otrans Reinas de la Noche made an announcement via social network condemning Wicha’s murder:


Las Reinas de la Noche condemn the despicable murder of Luisa “Love”Sandoval Lemus. Our “Wicha”, was a member of the Collective Trans of Izabal, she disappeared on Thursday 27 February 2020, she was found five days later, on Tuesday 2 March, in deplorable conditions and with signs of torture and abuse to her body.

We send our condolences to her friends, acquaintances and family and we demand prompt justice from the authorities for Wicha and all the trans womwn who have been murdered. #ItHurts #RestInPeace “

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Sex1:Trans woman


Date of Killing:02/03/2020

Previous Threats:No information

Gender component to killing:Evidence of gender-based and/or sexual violence

Type of Work:NGO member

Organisation:Colectiva Tans de Izabal

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:ESC Rights

Sector Detail:LGBTI, Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Transgender rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).

URLs (links) of Interest
Fotografía obtenida de Agencia Presentes. Bibliografía. Salazar, P., “Transfeminicidio en Guatemala: a Wicha la raparon y mutilaron”, Presentes, 10 marzo 2020.
Bibliografía. Organización Trans Reinas de la Noche, “Ellas no están, pero su memoria pervive”, Organización Trans Reinas de la Noche, viernes 20 noviembre 2020.
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