The death of Rodrigo Ventocilla needs to be clarified – ANRed

Sebastian Maralano and Rodrigo Ventocilla were discriminated against because of their status as trans men and migrants in Indonesia, with the sad result of Rodrigo’s death in police custody and his imprisonment. Last week, actions were held in front of Peruvian consulates in various countries demanding justice. In this interview with Milagros Panta, a friend of the couple, we reconstruct her story and the fight that various groups are waging to ensure that the case does not go unpunished. By Ernestina Arias for ANRed


Justice for Rodrigo and Sebastian

This story of violence against two Peruvian trans activists, Sebastian Marellano and Rodrigo Ventocillastarted when they both made a trip to Indonesia, becoming victims of discriminatory policies, transaudio and xenophobia.

In dialogue with Miracles Pantafriend of Sebastian and Rodrigo, we reviewed the journey of the two Peruvian trans guys who had just gotten married at the beginning of August. “They got married in Valparaiso, Chile because same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Peru. It was as a celebratory trip for their union that they traveled to Indonesia, to Bali. Arriving in Indonesia on August 6 Rodrigo is arrested by the airport police for possession of an article for the use of cannabis prescribed for health reasons.’

Arbitrarily, completely illegally, the police detained Rodrigo and kidnapped him, blackmailing him for money. They want a sum of money excessively out of a fine of 13 thousand dollars they went on to ask for 100 thousand dollars. She experienced this outrage alone as her husband Sebastian arrived on another flight the next day. “He finds out what happened to Rodrigo and at this point he is also arrested for no reason just for asking about Rodrigo. Both had all their rights violated when they were detained, and they are also not allowed to communicate with the family,” confirms miracles.

“The family found out they were being held on August 9 when they were both hospitalized for poisoning with some pills the police gave them – Miracles continue– and this is reported immediately to The Consul of Peru in Indonesia, Julio Eduardo Tenorio Pereirawhich they did not have no answer. On Thursday, August 11, Rodrigo died.

When trance dies, they never die!

This chain of tragic events has a shared responsibility between the Indonesian and Peruvian authorities who failed to intervene to protect the lives of the young people. Miracles tell this “so far the hospital and the Balinese authorities they don’t supply the medical part what were the causes of Rodrigo’s death. We want to clarify the reasons for his death, as he died in police custody and it was the responsibility of the Balinese authorities that he be found alive. Similarly the family denounces the consul of Peru for the inaction, for not coming in time to be able to help, protect and guarantee the inviolability of two Peruvians abroad. Tenorio Pereira just contacted the family the day after Rodrigo’s death to help them. Thanks to the condemnation and support provided by various social, human rights, LGTBI organizations in Peru and internationally, Sebastian was saved so he could return to Peru. He was still in custody when Rodrigo had already died, and the Peruvian authorities it took a long time in arranging his urgent return.’

Thanks to the social pressure of various organizations, Sebastian was able to return alive. “But we don’t have Rodrigo anymore,” calls out miracles. “It wasn’t until Friday, September 2 that Rodrigo’s body arrived in Peru. Various international campaigns have been mobilized so that the authorities of the Peruvian Public Ministry can carry out an investigation so that an autopsy can be carried out. Apparently, the autopsy had already been performed this Tuesday, September 6th, the exact same day that family and friends held the wake and funeral.

trans lives matter

While calls for justice and reparations were made in Peru, Chile and other territories, at the Peruvian Consulate in the city of Buenos Aires, located at San Martín 128, Milagros and several people from the International Campaign for Justice for Rodrigo and Sebastian presented a document with many pastings last Thursday, September 1st. The text, addressed to Consul Luis Felipe Isasi Ruiz Eldredge, was received and sealed with the complaint about what happened to Sebastian and Rodrigo, with the express request for intervention and cooperation to clarify the fact.

With pain piercing through her, Milagros paints a portrait of Rodrigo, remembering that “As a trans man, Rodrigo was a brilliant economist, did a master’s degree at Harvard University in public administration, and worked for the Peruvian state for many years. A young man with many dreams, with many goals. Founder of the groups Trans Masculina Diversities, one of the first groups of transmasculine boys in Peru, an activism strongly committed to the fight for human rights and trans people.”

The groups formed around the international Justice for Rodrigo and Sebastian campaign will continue to support their task of dissemination and mobilization. Milagros concludes by emphasizing the plea to the Peruvian authorities not to let the case go unpunished. “We demand justice, compensation for the family and truth. Various organizations will continue to honor Rodrigo’s memory because when a trans person dies, they never die and Rodrigo will always be in our hearts.”

related note

Focus on Peru Consulate for Justice for Trans Youth Rodrigo Ventocilla and Sebastian Maralano


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