"Gender violence is a social evil, based on ignorance and attitudes that cannot have space or tolerance in the Puerto Rico that we aspire to," Pierluisi said in a statement announcing the executive order. "For too long vulnerable victims have suffered the consequences of systematic machismo, inequity, discrimination, lack of education, lack of guidance and above all lack of action. It is my duty and my commitment as governor to establish a STOP to gender violence and for these purposes I have declared a state of emergency."
Mane killings have been brutal with hangings as well as the remains of two trans women found charred inside a burned-out car.
"Samuel did not deserve to die --none of the LGBTQ people who have been killed in Puerto Rico or anywhere else deserved to have their lives cut short," Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the transgender justice initiative at Human Rights Campaign, said at the time. "We must take action now and demand that this violence end."
Peirluisi's actions Sunday showed he not only agreed with Cooper's sentiments, but was advancing the fight on multiple fronts. His order calls for the creation of a special committee of experts to review the crisis and make recommendations, partnering with the private sector to ensure a more inclusive and affirming workplace for trans men and women, and educating children about tolerance and identity.
"To eradicate gender violence we have to make concerted efforts between the state and society in which, in addition to a comprehensive plan, there is an educational approach to teach our children that every human being has to be respected, as well as empower to our next generations to eradicate this evil," Pierluisi observed.