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NCAVP mourns the death of Johana Medina Leon, a 25-year-old El Salvadoran trans woman

NCAVP mourns the death of Johana Medina Leon, 25, who died just four days after she was released from ICE custody and taken to a hospital, May 28, 2019.  According to media sources, Johana was detained for seven weeks by ICE, after she requested asylum from her home country of El Salvador, where she faced severe and escalating transphobia.  Johana’s death comes a year after the death of Roxsana Hernandez Rodruiguez died in ICE custody in New Mexico.

Johana was a certified nurse in El Salvador.  OJ Pitaya, an advocate with Diversidad Sin Fronteras, an LGBT human rights organization, shared that Johana was a certified nurse in El Salvador, and “Her dream was to come to the US to get certified and make a living healing people.”

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 bilingual 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.