Sulma Alegria Ropbles (also known as Evelyn ) was a trans-gender woman, LGBTI rights defender. Her lifeless body was found on Friday, November 18, 2016, with signs of torture and physical violence.
The defender had been granted precautionary measures by the IACHR in 2006, along with the Executive Director of OASIS, Jorge López Sologaistoa, and other members of the Organisation who had been targets of attacks, threats, and violence for defending human rights.
On 17 December 2005, Sulma was a key witness to the extra-judicial killing of OASIS Communications Assistant, Paulina Marrot, by four agents of the National Civilian police. During that attack Sulma was shot in the head, allegedly by police and had spent a considerable time in hospital in a serious condition. Another transvestite sex worker was killed in the same attack.
As Sulma was a key witness in that case, it is believed that the attackers wanted silence her. OASIS had requested police protection for Sulma and the Human Rights Ombudsman’s office reportedly requested protection from the Interior Ministry. However no protection was provided.
Several other transvestite sex workers witnessed the shooting, but are reportedly too scared to give testimony, fearing police reprisals.