Things That Matter

Say Their Names And See Their Faces: The Black Trans Women Murdered So Far In 2019

This isn’t news to anyone, especially if you’re in the LGBTQ+ community. In a political climate that is trying to erase trans people from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), from the military, and most recently, from protections in homeless shelters, it’s clear the government is not going to help this community in crisis. There’s no question that Black women face higher discrimination than non-Black women of color.

That means it’s on all of us–feministas, poderosas and activists of all kinds–to shine a light on this issue and take action. We honor the women who have been murdered and the women who keep the fight going. Call your representatives. Demand justice. Donate to charities that directly provide resources to trans women.

Instead of highlighting the violence these women endured, we’re highlighting what they did with their lives.

Dana Martin

@Queerty / Twitter

Dana Martin, 31, made headlines as the first transgender woman killed in 2019, and just like that, her 31 years of life were erased. She was found hot dead in her car on Jan. 10. Martin’s best friend told Out magazine that she loved Aaliyah, the movie Friday, and that, “She was a very private, sweet person. Dana didn’t bother nobody, period.”

“[She] never really said [she was trans]. [She] just did it. [She] was gone one day and the next day came and said, ‘This is me,'” another childhood friend recalls. “But all through school, Dana had always looked like a girl, has always been mistaken as a girl. There was never a time when people didn’t ask, ‘Are you a girl or a boy?’ I think it made it easier for [her] to just be like, ‘transgender is my thing.’”

Ashanti Carmon

@MsIsisKing / Twitter

Ashanti Carmon was rejected by her family, and living on the streets by the time she was 16 years old. The trans community looked after her for the next ten years of couch hopping and performing sex work. She had just moved in with her boyfriend and was looking for employment at fast food restaurants to no avail. She was back at the strip many trans women go to for sex worth when a drive-by shooter fatally shot Carmon. She was killed on March 30 while standing on K Street, a stirp in the nation’s capital known for sex workers.

Claire Legato

@hhhhggggghhh / Twitter

Legato, 21, had begun her transition a few years ago. In a Facebook post on March 19, 2017, just two years before her death, she wrote:

“As I wake up everyday.. seeing the woman I’m becoming..👸🏼 I get scared cause it’s too good to be true really..😩 idk what the future holds and I’m excited asf!”🤗 they say all good things come to an end.. but this is one thing that can never be taken away from me.. who I am.. who I’ve always been.. 😌 CLAIRE..🦄✨💕 #feelslikeimdreaming”

Legato was shot in the head on April 15 during an argument between her mother and suspected shooter John Booth.

Muhlaysia Booker

@FOX4 / Twitter

Muhlaysia Booker, 23, made news one month before her death, during what Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings described as “mob violence.” She was in a traffic accident that resulted in a mob of people viciously beating her in April. On May 19, Booker was found dead from a gunshot. A 33-year-old Dallas man has been arrested for her murder and is implicated in another murder of a trans woman in the Dallas area.

Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington

@hhhhggggghhh / Twitter

Tamika was shot and killed in Philadelphia on May 19. The death was not treated as a hate crime since they don’t believe her gender identity was the motivator for the attack. Her friend of 20 years, Deja Lynn Alvarez, shared in a Facebook post, “Your memory will live and light will shine on through us.” She was known as a “gay mother,” to all in the community.

Paris Cameron

@JennSchanzWXYZ / Twitter

Paris Cameron, 20, was living out and proud to the very end. She was last seen celebrating her life with two good friends, Timothy Blancher, 20, and Alunte Davis, 21–both black gay men. All three were gunned down and killed in Detroit. The suspected shooters were charged for the murders and authorities believe the gender identity of Cameron and sexual orientation of her friends were factors in the violent crime.

Chynal Lindsey

@_uhmchristine / Twitter

Chynal Lindsey, 26, was born and raised in Chicago but moved to Arlington, Texas in the last few years. She went to Prairie State college and was working as an in-home health care provider. The same person who killed Muhlaysia has been linked as a possible serial killer targeting Black trans women in the Dallas area.

Chanel Scurlock

@Ash_Bash23 / Twitter

Chanel Scurlock, 23, died on June 6th, the first week of Pride month in Lumberton, North Carolina. One friend posted, “You [lived] your life as you wanted. I’m proud of you for being unapologetically correct about your feelings and expectations of YOU.”

Zoe Spears

@DCist / Twitter

Zoe Spears, 23, was a client of Casa Ruby. Ruby Corado describes her as “my daughter — very bright and very full of life. Casa Ruby was her home. Right now, we just want her and her friends and the people who knew her to know that she’s loved.” Her death, so closely after Ashanti Carmon left the trans community od Washington on edge as authorities attempted to find out if the deaths were connected.

READ: Transgender Afro-Latina Layleen Polanco Was Found Dead In Prison And Her Family Is Demanding Answers

This Brazilian Father-Son Duo Were Caught Making Fake Lamborghinis And Ferraris But Honestly It’s Kind Of Amazing

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This Brazilian Father-Son Duo Were Caught Making Fake Lamborghinis And Ferraris But Honestly It’s Kind Of Amazing

Brazilian Civil Police

Lamborghini cars are synonymous with extravagance and dreams of wealth that are unattainable for the vast majority of people. Ferraris are also a denominator of wealth and sometimes of a midlife crisis (generally “suffered” by white dudes who need to reaffirm their masculinity by driving a fancy, roaring car).

By the amount of Italian luxury cars one is able to spot in Latin America, you wouldn’t think that the region suffers from constant economic crisis and that vast segments of the population live under the poverty line. However, the fact that some individuals are willing to spend on a car more than some people make in their whole lives speaks to the deep and wide inequalities that exist in the region.

The Brazilian police just revealed that they uncovered a secret operation in which a father-son duo were actually manufacturing fakes! Yes, you read that right. If you thought that making fake Prada and Louis Vuitton handbags that look like the real deal sounded complicated, just wait until you read this story that falls under the category of magical realism.

Lamborghinis are expensive, like REALLY expensive.

If you wonder why someone would go through the trouble of making a fake luxury car, wonder no longer. An authentic Lamborghini costs no less than $200,000 USD. Just think about this: the minimum wage in Brazil is 998 reals a month, which translates into $257.5 USD. Yes, we are talking MONTHLY wage. So you can imagine what owning a Lamborghini in Brazil, even a fake one, means in terms of what some people consider important as a definer of class and social status. 

The Brazilian police made a fantastic discovery in the region of Santa Catarina.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

The Brazilian police received complaints from two Italian manufacturers, Lamborghini and Ferrari. Investigations led them to  Santa Catarina, a state in southern Brazil famous for its beaches and nightlife , and about 840 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro, where they made the arrests. 

They proudly announced the bust on social media, and guess how the cars were being sold.

Credit: PCSC_Oficial / Twitter

The Brazilian police, which is getting a boost from conservative new president Bolsonaro, proudly announced the bust on their Twitter account. As reported by Business Insider, the father-son team also used digital networks for their marketing and distribution: “The shop was offering the cars on social media for $45,000 to $60,000, which is far less than what the genuine exotic supercars cost”. 

The “company”, Autos Fibra, even had an Instagram account!

Credit: autosfibra / Instagram

Descarados! The workshop even had an Instagram account and some YouTube videos, so they were not very secretive about their operation. It makes us think of how copyright and intellectual property are legal matters, of course, but also about how the notions of originality can vary from country to country. In China, for example, making knock-offs is not necessarily seen as a bad thing, as ideas are considered communal rather than individual assets. 

They really thought this through: the level of detail in the replicas is really amazing… in a criminal kind of way.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

We are not condoning criminal activity here, but you got to appreciate the craftsmanship in making all this from scratch, from used car parts and without the original blueprints for the vehicles. Only a trained eye would be able to spot the difference at first glance. The Sun UK reports: “Upon raiding the operation, police discovered eight replicas which were in the process of being assembled. Photos captured by police show some of the motors covered in dust and wrapped in plastic covers. The crooks were even fitting fraudulent badges, seats and accessories emblazoned with the iconic Italian brands”. 


Everything was seized in the raid.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

When the police arrived they found a well-oiled (pun intended!) operation. As CNN reports: “Tools, molds, fibers and frames used to manufacture the cars were also seized during the raid, police said. The shop was owned by a father and son, who were both arrested and face criminal charges for falsifying commercial property. The pair are thought to be the largest manufacturers of bootleg luxury vehicles in Brazil”. According to the two men who were arrested, they were making “legal prototypes”. Yeah, sure! 

This has happened before elsewhere in the world.

Credit: Brazilian Civil Police

The manufacture of bootleg luxury cars is not unique to Brazil. Nine years ago in 2010, a Thai man was made famous for his ability to build replica Ferraris, Porsches and Aston Martins. Thailand is one of the epicenters of global counterfeit of replicas of luxury goods. 

Social media soon found some humor on the story of the Brazilian fake Italian supercars.

This dude, Peter Malcolm, bluntly claims that he has a Lambo: do we believe him or is he just bluffing? 

These are some cool new words that need to enter the Oxford Dictionary!

Credit: @autotestdrivers / Twitter

This news story led to the creation of some fantastic new words. “Shamborghini” and “Fauxrrari” should definitely enter the dictionary as socially acceptable words. One thing is for certain, this duo, whose identity is concealed due to legal reasons, will go down in the history of counterfeiting as infamous legends. 

And some people lauded the father-son duo as true entrepreneurs, products of Latin American neoliberalism!

Credit: CNN / Facebook

As we said before, we do not condone this criminal activity. The car industry invests millions of dollars in the manufacturing, design and distribution of its products, and hundreds of jobs depend on it. But, as some social media users pointed out on CNN’s Facebook page, we gotta give them some credit. As one Gideon K. Langat pointed out: “They are actually offering a solution to the financially challenged with taste of class”. Well, if not being able to afford an Italian luxury supercar means being “financially challenged” then we all are, aren’t we?

BTW, an American father-son duo built a Lamborghini Aventador using a 3D printer!

Credit: mototrend.com

An American dad and his son were playing video games when they suddenly decided to build a replica of one of the cars featured in the game. As The Sun UK reports: “Sterling Backus was inspired to build the supercar after his son said he liked it when they were playing video game Forza Horizon 3. But as he didn’t have the budget to buy a brand-new Aventador, valued at more than £270,000, he decided to get creative. Despite having no experience, the physicist turned to 3D printing to build the impressive motor. Over the past 18 months, the duo have spent an hour each day painstakingly gluing each panel onto the home-made chassis”. Wow, that is what we call parental dedication. This dude deserves some sort of Father of the Decade award. 

READ: It’s Been Six Months And Brazil’s President Is On A Tear Stripping Rights Away From Every Vulnerable Community

El Chapo Will Spend The Rest Of His Life Behind Bars But It’s What He Told The Judge That Everyone Is Talking About

Things That Matter

El Chapo Will Spend The Rest Of His Life Behind Bars But It’s What He Told The Judge That Everyone Is Talking About

ABC News / YouTube

A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y., has sentenced drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 30 years for his role in leading Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. A life sentence was mandatory; U.S. prosecutors had asked that three decades be added onto Guzmán’s punishment.

The sentence also includes a multibillion-dollar financial penalty for the wealthy drug dealer.

The former drug lord was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

Credit: @KCRG / Twitter

A federal jury convicted Guzmán in February, finding him guilty of a raft of serious charges, from drug crimes to a murder conspiracy. His conviction included 10 counts of crimes such as narcotics trafficking, using a firearm in drug crimes and money laundering.

The 62-year-old former drug lord was extradited from his native Mexico to the US in January 2017. The terms of his extradition included a pledge that US authorities would not seek the death penalty.

The drug kingpin has repeatedly made headlines during his criminal career — first for the vast power he ruthlessly amassed and later for his seeming ability to break out of any prison in Mexico. In 2015, he escaped from a maximum security prison for the second time, after spending more than a decade eluding Mexican authorities. He lived outside the law for an additional six months, before he was captured in a high-profile operation in early 2016.

He’s also been ordered to pay more than $12 billion for his negative impacts on the country.

Drug kingpin El Chapo was ordered to forfeit more than $12.6 billion in ill-gotten drug money today. Many are already coming out with ideas on hote government should best spend that money.

While others are pointing out the irony in the government taking drug money as if it was simply taking its cut.

El Chapo’s attorney reiterated his call for a new trial over alleged misconduct by jurors.

This case was simply an inquisition. It was a show trial, and how it ended is exactly perfect for that description,” defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said. He said the government’s witnesses had included “lunatics and sociopaths and psychopaths” and that “up to five jurors broke the law — violated the law while they were judging Mr. Guzmán for crimes.”

After Guzmán was convicted, his defense team said the trial was tainted, claiming that members of the jury had ignored the judge’s orders not to read about the trial outside of court proceedings.

Guzmán plans to appeal, Lichtman said.

People were anxiously waiting to see if Guzmán would speak at his sentencing.

El Chapo spoke publicly for the first time since his conviction on Wednesday, complaining to a judge that his incarceration at a Manhattan lockup has been absolute “torture” before being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.

“I’ve been forced to drink unsanitary water. I’ve been denied access to fresh air and sunlight. The only sunlight I have in my cell comes through in the air vent,” the 62-year-old convicted drug kingpin told Brooklyn federal Judge Brian Cogan ahead of his sentencing.

Guzmán concluded his lengthy remarks by saying, “The United States is no better than any other corrupt country that you don’t respect.”

So where will El Chapo likely be spending the rest of his life?

Since he was sentenced to life, El Chapo will likely be serving that sentence in just one facility – the supermax prison just outside of Florence, Colorado. That is, of course, as long as he doesn’t successfully escape…again.

Many were just counting down the weeks or months until his third escape.

Some on Twitter pointed out that he’s already evaded authorities bascially four times now and made two high-profile escapes, including from a supposed supermax prison facility in Mexico.

Many are questioning how long it will take him and his Sinoaloa cartel to break him out of his cell in Colorado…

READ: Federal Jury Finds Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guilty On All 10 Counts, Faces Life In Prison

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