Dandara dos Santos, a 42-year-old transgender woman from a northern Brazilian slum, begged for mercy as a group of men bashed her over the head with rocks. In a video shot on Feb. 15, dos Santos crouched on the ground, her ripped clothes hanging from her slender frame. Blood trickled down her face as four men taunted, kicked and beat her. Eventually, when she was no longer able to move, the men picked her up, placed her in a wheelbarrow and took her to an alleyway — where they shot and killed her. Dos Santos's gruesome killing has shaken Brazil and sparked a national conversation about the rising number of murders of transgender people. The video, seen more than 170,000 times, horrified Brazilians and was widely shared by celebrities and LGBT organizations, who called for greater protections for one of Brazil’s most marginalized groups. Several public officials have also condemned violence against sexual minorities. But even as the transgender movement gains more support, it is also clashing with Brazil’s religious and patriarchal roots.
March 23 / Washington Post