Families of murdered women and trans Argentinians ensure their voices are not silenced

by | Jun 30, 2022 | Top Stories

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Left: Andrés de la Torre, father of Tehuel de la Torre. Tehuel is a young trans man who disappeared in March of 2021. Right: Say Sacayán, a transgender rights activist, standing in front of a sign that reads “Where is Tehuel?”

Eleonora Ghioldi

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Eleonora Ghioldi

“ATRAVESADXS” (transversed in Spanish, the “x” is for language inclusivity) is a visual project that documents the testimonies of relatives, siblings, parents and friends of victims of gender-based crimes in Argentina. Eleonora Ghioldi has collected more than 70 testimonies from people who’ve lost a family member in a femicide. “ATRAVESADXS” is part of one of her visual projects that shed light on issues that affect women in Latin America and the United States. ” ‘ATRAVESADXS’ shows that, unfortunately, the violence does not end with femicide but continues in many other forms,” Ghioldi said. “From the media — violence that not only re-victimizes and blames the victims but also the families — to the justice system that not only is not present in the prevention of violence but also does not accompany the families in the process of requesting justice.” “These are not individual, but collective experiences. Through political organization, these families can continue their fight to demand justice — by these women and also by their children that many of them leave behind,” she added.

Gustavo Melmann, the father of Natalia Melmann. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2020. “Every day, we miss her more — for you, as always, we love you to infinity back and forth,” he wrote.

Eleonora Ghioldi

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Eleonora Ghioldi

Natalia Melmann The murder of Natalia Melmann, a 15-year-old Argentine girl, occurred on Feb. 4, 2001, in the city of Miramar, in the province of Buenos Aires. The case gained great national relevance, resulting in massive marches to find Natalia as soon as possible that, once her body was found, gathered in protests to demand justice for the young woman.

Gustavo Melmann, Natalia’s father, continues to seek justice for his daughter more than 20 years later. “My name is Gustavo Melmann — Natalia Melmann’s father, a 15-year-old girl with a future ahead of her, a fighter, champion of her school. She did not want to have children but to adopt them because she thought that there were too many children on the street who needed to have parents. She wanted to be a gynecologist, an obstetrician. “On Feb. 4, 2001, the Buenos Aires police officers seized her on the Miramar coast, took her outside the city and generated all kinds of torments. They took her life with her own shoelace. That took a whole village fight. We all went out to look for her. Although the return to have Nati does not exist, all the struggle that we carry forward is in some way so that things do not happen again and generate a Never More or Not One Less. We are asking at a very important moment in this country and in the world the search for equality, against violence against women — all kinds of violence: psychological, patrimonial, physical violence, rapes. The history of humanity that we have had to reflect lots of men, in what place and in what space we have denied the equality of women, we have to rethink everything as men and as a society.”

Say Sacayan, Diana Sacayán’s brother. La Matanza, Argentina; 2021. “I am Say Sacayán, a militant for the rights of trans people,” he wrote. “Diana left a legacy that we have to carry forward.”

Eleonora Ghioldi

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Eleonora Ghioldi

Diana Sacayán Diana Sacayán was one of the main activists of the human rights movement and the fight for the recognition and social inclusion of the trans collective in Argentina. She was murdered on Oct. 11, 2015. On June 18, 2018, the Oral Criminal Court No. 4 of the City of Buenos Aires sentenced her murderer in a sentence in which, for the first time, the Argentine justice described the murder of a transgender woman as a hate crime to gender identity. This is the full testimony of her brother, Say Sacayán: “D …

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