Mexico's First Nonbinary Magistrate Found Dead

    Photo: Ralf Roletschek [via Wikimedia Commons]

    The Facts

    • Jesús Ociel Baena, Mexico's first openly nonbinary judge, was found dead in the central state of Aguascalientes on Monday alongside another person identified by local media as the magistrate's partner, Dorian Herrera.

    • The state prosecutor's office initially ruled the deaths as murder-suicide — a hypothesis that received fierce backlash from the victims' family and friends — before changing tune and claiming that drugs may have been involved.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Mexican authorities have a shady record of dismissing murders as crimes of passion in a pattern that risks being repeated in this tragic case. Rather than doing their due diligence, authorities initially sought to reach a quick conclusion — a move that only serves to aggravate the prejudices that often fuel crimes against minorities.

    Narrative B

    Although there's a lot of attention to Baena's death due to their gender identity, preliminary findings show no evidence of a third party at the scene, meaning the deaths could have been down to a personal matter. No theories should be thrown out, nor should any conclusions be reached, until authorities — who are making every effort to investigate all avenues — find out more.

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