NCAVP mourns the death of 32-year-old Puerto Rican, transgender woman, Serena Angelique Velázquez, in Humacao, Puerto Rico

NCAVP mourns the death of 32-year-old Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, whose life was tragically lost to violence in Puerto Rico on April 21, 2020. In a heinous act, Sánchez, was found dead alongside Layla Pelaez Sánchez, 21, a fellow New York native and Puerto Rican transgender woman.

According to reports, Serena was visiting Puerto Rico on vacation from her home in Queens, New York. In many online tributes, she is remembered fondly as a “happy person” and a “sincere friend.” An alumni of Universidad del Turabo, Serena maintained a YouTube channel teaching her audience about her personal spiritual practices. We send our deepest condolences to Serena and Layla’s family and friends.

Two men have been arrested in connection with this act of violence and local police are continuing this investigation as a hate crime.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilngual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.