NCAVP mourns the death of Marilyn “Monroe” Cazares, a 24-year-old Latinx transgender woman

NCAVP mourns the death of Marilyn “Monroe” Cazares, a 22-year-old Latinx transgender woman whose body was found brutally murdered in an abandoned building in Brawley, CA on July 13th. Marilyn was discovered by local law enforcement when they were called to put out a nearby couch fire at 8:30 am. The Brawley Police are currently investigating the murder, and Cazares’ family members believe it to be hate violence. “[She] was stabbed and [she] was burned, and, you know, that’s so hateful to do to somebody,” says the victim’s sister Aubrey Cazares.

Marily “Monroe” Cazares was well known by the homeless community in Brawley, including Mary Ann Isaac, manager of the organization Brawley Feed the Need. She “didn’t deserve this… not at all,” says Isaac, remembering her as “the life of the party.” Marilyn loved Marilyn Monroe, Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj, and her aunt Sonia Castenada says she “was just fabulous; always rocking crazy outfits, crazy wigs.”

Her sister has arranged a GoFundMe to cover funeral costs, and her family arranged a march from the scene of the crime to the Brawley Police Department to honor and demand #JusticeForMarilyn, and to “protest transphobia.” The Brawley police ask that anyone with information contact Det. Sgt. Jesse Rotner at (760) 351-7777.

NCAVP stands in solidarity with all trans women of color, and we know that it is always hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. We know this can be even more painful when there continues to be an unchecked epidemic of homicides of Black and brown trans women, as police violence is escalating against Black and brown people, and our nation continues to be grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic that highlights long-standing healthcare disparities for Black and brown 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.