The first transgender woman to be legally recognised in Argentina has been found murdered in her home.
The body of Victoria Alejandra Ironici, 45, was found by her 22-year-old nephew in a room that had been set on fire in her home in the city of Santa Fe, Argentina, on Sunday, 21st August.
Ironici was found with cuts and burns on her body while a 32-year-old suspect who maintained a relationship with the transgender rights activist, and who has been named only as Hector B., has been detained in connection with the crime, according to local media.
This was after Ironici’s car was found parked outside the man’s home while a woman who allegedly attempted to hide the suspect has also been arrested.
A pioneer of her time, Ironici became the first transgender woman to have her identity changed via the administrative route in Argentina, without having to go through the court system.
In one of the images, she is pictured alongside former Santa Fe governor, Antonio Bonfatti, as she receives her new I.D.
This landmark event occurred two months before the Law of Gender Identity (Ley de Identidad de Genero) in Argentina came into effect.
Ironici stated at the time: “All I did was choose a different life.”
This was after a decade-long military career that also saw Ironici work as a government official for the city of Santa Fe.
While the trans community in Argentina has an estimated life expectancy of under 40 years, some 12,655 Argentinians have had their ID documents changed to reflect their new identities since Ironici was legally recognised as a trans woman in 2012.
In 2013, Ironici became the first trans woman in Argentina to undergo gender reassignment surgery in a public hospital, a move that was criticised by conservative sectors of the government who did not believe that the Argentinian health system should be responsible for covering such costs, despite the fact that it is currently stipulated by law.
Ironici told local media: “We are legitimising access to public health for our transgender allies.”
Last year, Ironici reached another turning point in her career after giving classes as a substitute teacher and becoming the first trans woman to be given a teaching role by the country’s public education system.
According to writer and Argentinian historian Ernersto Seman, there has been a perceptible radicalisation of the right wing in Argentina whose identity is built around a discourse that promotes fanatical ideas regarding political, social and racial identity.
He added: “What I see more is a marked radicalization of the right in its agendas, in its discourse… that is being built around that radicalisation.”