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Mexico's first openly nonbinary magistrate found dead at their home

Mexican officials are investigating the deaths of the country's first nonbinary magistrate and their partner, who were found dead Monday.
Mexico's first openly nonbinary magistrate found dead at their home
Posted at 4:07 PM, Nov 15, 2023

The first openly nonbinary person to hold a judicial position in Mexico and Latin America was found dead in their home Monday next to another deceased person, who was later identified as the magistrate's romantic partner.

Jesús Ociel Baena Saucedo had around 20 wounds when authorities in Aguascalientes found them and the body of Dorian Herrera in the couple's shared home. 

The Aguascalientes state prosecutor's office said the causes of the death of the two are currently unknown. However, they called the case a murder-suicide Tuesday, saying it seemed as though Herrera murdered Baena using razor blades — including a cut to their jugular — and then committed suicide, according to the Associated Press. 

"It may seem like a not very credible hypothesis to many, but we're being very careful to leave a record and preserve all evidence," state prosecutor Jesús Figueroa Ortega said, per AP.

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Mexican officials said they ruled out the "presence of a third person" in the deaths and that there were no signs of forced entry. The office also noted there was blood on the bed and footprints across the home, and that "one of the lifeless bodies found was holding a cutting instrument," according to CNN.

But Ortega saying that the murder-suicide hypothesis may not appear as a "very credible hypothesis" is a nod to the many LGBTQ+ activists who believe the case was perpetrated as a hate crime after Baena had reported receiving hateful messages and death threats due to their standing as one of the most visible LGBTQ+ figures in Mexico.

Family and friends immediately disputed the murder-suicide hypothesis and called it "completely unthinkable," according to AP.

A longtime friend of both Baena and Herrera, Máximo Carrasco, said he and other close friends never saw the couple be anything but loving and respectful, AP reported. He claimed the current detectives are just trying to get the case to go away and that loved ones want it to be handled by federal investigators instead. 

One LGBTQ+ activist said the officials' handling of the case is "loaded with prejudice," while thousands of others took to Mexico City Monday to protest, according to AP, shouting "We won't stay silent" and demanding further investigation into the case.

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