Susel Paredes she wants to be Peruvian president. But the congresswoman from the Purple Party has an urgent fight to wage first, and not only in her name. The Constitutional Court has just denied her the possibility of registering the relationship that she contracted with Gracia Aljovín in Miami in 2016 in the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status (Reniec). Paredes decided to take her case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). “The fight for our dignity continues. I will do it out of love, with reason and armed with courage,” she said, regretting that Peru is not one of the Latin American countries like Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and Uruguay, where same-sex couples have a equal access to marriage. Several Mexican states, including the Federal District, have this opening. In Cuba, Bolivia, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, there is still no such legal figure The horizon narrows in Venezuela “The Constitution that I signed and that we approved establishes marriage between a man and a woman. It is what I defend, “repeats its attorney general, Tarek William Saab. That deficit The Paraguayan case is even more flagrant: the Civil Code explicitly prohibits it.

It is estimated that more than 33 million Latin Americans They are considered part of the LGTBI collective. The conditions of struggle in favor of visibility and against criminalization changed significantly in relation to the 1960s or 1980s. But the horizon has not fully opened. According to a 2019 report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), the regional population that identifies and acknowledges, publicly or not, with some non-heteronormative sexual orientation or gender identity, “experiences situations of discrimination, violence (material and symbolic) and inequality”. Although there have been advances in the last two decades, especially through the legal recognition of certain forms of couples and the sanction of gender identity laws, situations of “homophobic and transphobic violence that seem to have structural foundations” still persist. In Paraguay, Venezuela and Mexico there is no aggravating circumstance of “hate crime” to catalog the crimes against this sector of the population. The recent Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles has tried to make these problems visible.

Four countries have partially incorporated LGBTI rights to its Constitution: Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba and Mexico. Meanwhile, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay criminalize discrimination based on sexual orientation. The joint adoption of couples of the same sixth is recognized in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay. The new Chilean Magna Carta, which will be submitted to a popular consultation in September, will become the most advanced on the subject in the entire continent. The Family Code that must be debated in Cuba, and that will also be endorsed by society, must include recognition of the formation of different types of families, among them the so-called gender-diverse and sex-diverse families. In Argentina, a new National Identity Document (DNI) for non-binary people has been in force for a year.

Legal and material violence

Central America and the Caribbean shows the other side of the current of legal and cultural transformations. It is the area with increased criminalization sexual diversity, with penalties ranging from five to 15 years in prison in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

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The gap between legal recognition and daily experience often has the common denominator of death. Nail 1,300 people with a diverse sexual orientation or gender identity were killed between 2014 and 2020. During the pandemic, trans femicides did not stop. It is in Brazil, since the extreme right governs, where the wave of intolerance and exclusion has grown. The Observatory of Murdered Trans People ranked that country as the country with the highest number of cases in 2021 (125), followed by Mexico (65), Honduras (53), the United States (53) and Colombia (25). “The life expectancy of trans women and transvestites in Brazil is barely 35 years old. This is a racist, LGTBphobic and sexist country that does not recognize these problems,” says Erika Hilton, a trans woman and the most voted councilor in Brazil in the last municipal elections, who has in turn become one of the most active accusers of the President Jair Bolsonaro. The retired captain even said, before coming to power, that I would prefer a dead son to a homosexual one.

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