A court on Monday sentenced a 25-year-old man to life imprisonment for the brutal murder of transgender activist Diana Sacayán.
Judges Adolfo Calvete, Ivana Bloch, and Julio César Báez in Oral Criminal Court No. 4 in Buenos Aires City found Gabriel David Marino guilty of “aggravated homicide due to gender violence and hatred of gender identity,” according to a ruling transmitted live by the Judicial Information Centre (CIJ). He made no comment as his sentence was passed down.
In a historic first, the judges agreed that the crime was a “transvesticide” based on “hatred and prejudice”, as the prosecutors had argued.
Marino stabbed 40-year-old Sacayán, a high-profile LGBT rights campaigner, 13 times on the night of Saturday, October 10, 2015 after tying together her hands and feet and gagging her.
Marino claimed he had engaged in sexual activity with the victim in exchange for drugs. He denies killing her.
Trans activist Lara Bernasconi said that the conviction had “broken legal dogma”.
“The trans community has to break the paradigm, that it is not just a murder but a transvesticide, with a foundational category”, Bernasconi declared from outside the court, where dozens of people followed the ruling on a big screen.
“My sister was an example and she taught me to fight for my rights. She is a light that guides me”, Diana’s sister, Sasha Sacayán, told the Clarín newspaper after the ruling.
Sacayán was a well-known activist and the first citizen to receive a new national identity card (DNI) after applying to have her gender changed by law.