TLDEF Statement on Murder of Puerto Rican Teenager


NEW YORK, Nov. 18 — The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund condemns the brutal murder of Jorge Steven López Mercado, a 19-year-old in Puerto Rico, in a possible hate crime. Puerto Rican police arrested Juan José Martínez Torres, 26, late on Monday.

Puerto Rican news reports have indicated López Mercado was dressed as a woman at the time of the murder.

"The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund sends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of Jorge Steven López Mercado," TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman said. "We urge local authorities to continue to investigate this murder, and to bring all appropriate charges, including hate crime charges, that are appropriate in this case."