Action Alert – Demand Investigation Into Attacks on Transgender Man in La Matanza

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The rights violated in this case include: The right to life and security, the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to be free from discrimination, the right to equality before the law, and the right to freedom of expression.
The Issue

On July 19, 2008, Ian Breppe was verbally assaulted with reference to his transgender identity by the owner of a butcher shop near his bicycle repair shop. The butcher shop owner then beat Ian up. When Ian reported this assault at the police station in La Matanza, the officers rejected the complaint and verbally humiliated him.

The next year, on April 10, 2009, Ian was verbally abused by David Martin Albarran, who grabbed him by his hair, dragged him around, beat him, and then finally threw him against the window, causing Ian serious injuries. Ian had three tendons cut in his right foot, his ribs cracked, and was bruised on various parts of his body He brought complaints to the Attorney General of La Matanza and to the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism, which is part of the Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights of Argentina. Neither of these institutions responded to the complaints.

These threats and violence against Ian are indicators of systemic violence against trans people in La Matanza. The perpetrators of these acts remain unpunished because they have the implicit support of the police and municipal authorities. Perpetrators have even boasted of having the direct support of the police in other cases. This intolerance, discrimination, and abuse, based on gender identity manifests itself daily in various towns in the Province of Buenos Aires.


The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) joins Movimiento Antidiscriminatorio de Liberación (MAL) and other organizations in requesting that you contact the Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights, the Attorney General of La Matanza, the Director of Human Rights of La Matanza and other authorities, demanding a full and fair investigation into these attacks and calling for the adoption of measures to prevent similar crimes in the future.

Send a letter of protest to the Argentinian authorities.

Siga este link para leer esta acción en español.

Please send your letters to:

Minister of Justice, Security and Human Rights of Argentina
Dr. Julio Cesar Alak

Dr. Catalina Baños

Director of Human Rights of La Matanza
Ms. Gina Dinardo

Dr. María José Lubertino

Ms. Sara Derotier De Cobacho

Please send a copy to:

Fernando D'Elio - IGLHRC

Diana Sacayan – MAL

SAMPLE LETTER (English translation) See the Spanish version

Dr. Julio Cesar Alak
Minister of Justice, Security and Human Rights of Argentina

Minister Alak,

I am writing to express my deep concern over reports of the attacks on trans people and other people with minority sexual orientations and gender identities in La Matanza, including the attacks against Ian Breppe on 19 July 2008 and 10 April 2009. On both occasions Ian was verbally harassed and physically attacked because of his gender identity, and on both occasions when he reported the incidents to the authorities he was either mocked or ignored.

As a signatory to many international human rights declarations and treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture (CAT), the American Convention on Human Rights (American Convention), and the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture (IACPPT), it is Argentina’s obligation to ensure that human rights violations are fully investigated and perpetrators are brought to justice. Impunity for attacks on transgender people is a clear violation, under these treaties, of the rights to life and security, to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, to be free from discrimination, to equality before the law, and to freedom of expression (UDHR Arts. 2, 3, 5, 7, 19; ICCPR Arts. 2, 7, 9, 19, 26; CAT Arts. 2, 10, 12, 14; American Convention Arts. 1, 4, 5, 13, 24, 25; IACPPT Arts. 1, 8).

Moreover, the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity specify that, "everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has the right to security of the person and to protection by the State against violence or bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials or by any individual or group," and that states shall, "take all necessary policing and other measures to prevent and provide protection from all forms of violence and harassment related to sexual orientation and gender identity and take all necessary legislative measures to impose appropriate criminal penalties for violence, threats of violence, incitement to violence and related harassment, based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of any person or group of persons." (Principle 5)

We respectfully request that:

  • Argentinean authorities publicly condemn these attacks and conduct a full and fair investigation into them, guaranteeing that the perpetrators have been identified, and punished according to the law.

  • Argentinean authorities support survivors and advocates in their demands for justice regarding these crimes.

  • The judiciary and the police, with the help of human rights NGOs, initiate a program to prevent, monitor and follow up on cases involving crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation, as well as providing compensation to the victims and their families.

  • Authorities do everything possible to ensure that similar crimes are not repeated in the future and include the LGTBI community in plans to develop increased security in La Matanza.

Argentinean authorities should respect and protect the rights of Ian Breppe, and of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

We trust that you will give this issue the attention it deserves.


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