MEXICO CITY, Mexico – A transgender rights activist and Senate hopeful was tragically murdered on Sunday in the borough of Xochimilco, Mexico City. Samantha Carolina Gomes Fonseca, a trans woman and aspiring Senate candidate for the ruling Morena party, was shot and killed while traveling in a vehicle connected to a ridesharing company, the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office reported.
According to journalist Carlos Jiménez, Gomes was killed after visiting an inmate at the Reclusorio Sur men’s prison and then getting into a Didi vehicle. She was shot and killed by a man who approached the car when it was going over a speed bump.
The Mexico City Security Ministry stated that authorities were investigating the murder “under the protocol of femicide,” a crime defined as the killing of a woman or girl on account of her gender. Police have also spoken to witnesses of the murder, and surveillance camera footage is being reviewed to identify the individuals responsible.
Throughout her career, Gomes worked as an advisor for several lawmakers in Mexico City and was a well-known activist for transgender rights. She frequently visited prisons to conduct workshops and organize events, according to reports.
Just before her untimely death, Gomes had taken to social media to promote a Mexico City protest “for the dignity of trans women” scheduled to take place the following day. Her murder came shortly after the killing of another trans woman and municipal official, Miriam Noemi Ríos, in Jacona, Michoacán.
Temístocles Villanueva, a deputy in the Mexico City Congress, described the attack on Gomes as “cowardly,” emphasizing her dedication to various causes focused on the political participation of LGBTQI+ people and the defense of prisoners’ rights. Morena Senator Ricardo Monreal also condemned the murder as “cowardly” and “reprehensible.”
Gomes dedicated her life to fighting against discrimination “in all its forms,” leaving behind a legacy as “a woman of character, hard-working, and loyal to the principles and values she held.” The investigation into her murder continues as her community demands justice for the loss of a fierce advocate for transgender rights.