Death of trans student in Bali police custody sparks protests

Death of trans student in Bali police custody sparks protests
Death of trans student in Bali police custody sparks protests

Rodrigo Ventosilla, who was a student in the class of 2023 at Harvard Kennedy School, died on August 11 in Indonesia. (Harvard Kennedy School)

The death of a trans man in police custody in Bali has sparked emotional protests in his home country of Peru.

Rodrigo Ventosilla, 32, was a founding member of the Peruvian trans rights organization Diversidades Trans Masculinas and was a student at Harvard Kennedy School at the time of his death on August 11.

Ventosilla had traveled to Bali with his wife, Sebastían Marallano, for their honeymoon, but upon arrival at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, he was arrested for alleged drug possession.

However, his family said he was arrested for “an act of racial discrimination and transphobia”. He died five days later.

Bali police told local media that Ventosilla died after consuming unsealed drugs while in police custody, but his relatives demanded authorities release his autopsy.

After his death, activists and members of the LGBTQ+ community gathered outside the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lima, calling on authorities to conduct their own investigation into Ventocilla’s death.

According to Associated press, the trans student’s body is taken back to Peru, where his family hopes a cause of death will be determined.

Luzmo Henríquez, a lawyer for Ventocilla’s family, said: “He was detained because of his gender identity.

“His identity document did not match his appearance. This made him a suspect for the Indonesian police. He was extorted, tortured and died.

But speaking to CNNPeru’s foreign ministry cited Indonesia’s tough stance on drugs, appearing to dismiss the family’s allegations of racism and transphobia, and it did not announce an independent investigation into Death of Ventosille.

LGBTQ+ activist Luz Manriquez, who attended the protest, said: “It lacks empathy because she doesn’t acknowledge that a Peruvian died at the hands of police from another country.”

Diversidades Trans Masculinas called on the global trans community to pressure Peru to find out the truth about the death of the trans student in Bali.

In a Facebook post, the group said: “After Rodrigo’s death in Bali, we call on supporters to join us in a sit-in outside Peruvian embassies and consulates around the world to demand justice.”

. death dun student trans guard view bali trigger protests

. Death trans student Bali police custody sparks protests

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