Vanesa Lorena Ledesma
oil on canvas
40" x 30"
$3,000 (framed or unframed)
Vanesa Lorena Ledesma was arrested in Córdoba, Argentina, on 11 February
2000. Five days later she was dead. A police report recorded that she had died
as a result of a ''cardiac arrest''. However, an autopsy reportedly revealed
that her body showed signs of torture including indications that she had been
beaten while handcuffed; severe bruising to the feet, arms, back and shoulders
were recorded. There also appeared to be a discrepancy of at least a day between
the actual time of death and that recorded by the police responsible for her
Vanesa Lorena Ledesma, a 47-year-old transvestite whose legal name
was Miguel Angel Ledesma, was an active member of the United Transvestites
of Córdoba. She was detained in a bar during a fight and charged with
damaging the bar. At the police station she was segregated from other prisoners;
apparently the reason given for holding her in incommunicado detention was
not to protect her, but to avoid other detainees having to share a cell with
a ''sick'' person.
Lesbian, gay and transgendered people continue to be the
victims of harassment and discrimination at the hands of the Argentine police.
which allows the police to detain people for acts that are not criminal offences,
has frequently been used to detain transvestites, transsexuals, gay men and
lesbians. There are concerns that these powers of detention have facilitated
torture or ill-treatment.
(Biographical material provided by Amnesty International)
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