Picture Credit: CEN
A transgender woman who fought to stay alive for three months after she was brutally beaten in an apparent hate crime attack outside a nightclub has died.
Mirna Di Marzo, 30, had just left the Caribe disco pub after a night out with friends when she was attacked in the city of Guemes in the north-western Argentina province of Salta.
She was later found unconscious, half naked and so badly beaten her face was “impossible to recognise”, according to the family’s lawyer, Jose Lazarte.
Mr Lazarte added that Mirna’s trousers had been pulled down and it appeared she had been raped in the horrific attack.
Mirna was taken to the city’s Hospital Joaquin Castellanos where she was in a coma in the intensive care unit for a month, and although opening her eyes she never recovered enough to speak.
Her sister, Janet Di Marzo, confirmed: “Even then she was unable to speak to us, nothing, she was in a vegetative state for another two months.”
Tragically, she has now died and her distraught family are struggling to come to terms with their loss.
Janet added: “We never thought she had issues with anybody. She was a respectful person. She played with the kids of the neighbourhood and even game them sweets. Everybody loved her.”
Her sister had told her parents she did not want to be a boy, and instead wanted to be called Mirna, when she was around 13 years old and the family had accepted her decision.
Janet said the dead woman’s mother Cristina has told her when she revealed her decision to become a woman: “Whatever you are, I am going to respect you my entire life.”
But she said Mirna suffered prejudice from other members of the community and was forced to leave school.
Without an education, she became a sex worker but had recently given up prostitution and started attending night school where she hoped to finally take her high school exams.
Janet added: “She had dreams, she wanted to be a lawyer, she said that nobody was going to discriminate against her anymore.”
Ms Di Marzo was living with her parents, both pensioners, at the time of the attack. She also had 10 brothers and sisters.
Her teachers and fellow students attended her funeral and paid tribute to her. Cristina Di Marzo, her mother, added: “She got the best grades, she was the best student.”
Transgender activist Victoria Liendro said after the funeral: “It was a hate crime. We are going to fight to get this mentioned in the reports and to get justice for Mirna.”
Local man Jose Gareca, 44, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after he was allegedly seen on CCTV footage running away from the scene of the attack.
He could now face a murder charge, and the prospect of a life sentence, following Mirna’s death. Local media reports he was previously jailed for killing another woman and was on probation for sex offences.