In a shocking incident first openly non-binary judge in the country and a big supporter of LGBTQ rights Ociel Baena Saucedo, was discovered dead at their home in Aguascalientes, as reported by CNN.
Their partner was also found dead in the same place, which has left the whole country in shock. Officials, led by Mexico's Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez, shared the news in the central state, about 500 kilometres northwest of the capital. Although we don't know why they died, Aguascalientes' Attorney General, Jesus Figueroa, mentioned there's no clear evidence of any foul play, according to CNN. Rodriguez, speaking during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's press conference, said the investigation is still ongoing.
Early information shows there's no blood outside the house where they were found, no damage to doors or windows, and no sign that someone else was involved. The authorities also mentioned that one of the lifeless bodies had a cutting tool nearby.
Figueroa emphasized looking at the situation from a gender perspective because Baena identified as non-binary. However, they didn't say right away if this might be connected to a hate crime.
Baena had worked for more than a year in the Electoral Tribunal of the central state of Aguascalientes. In October of last year, they talked about being the first non-binary judge in Latin America. This was a big deal and recognized many years of working for LGBTQ rights. Back then, Baena said, "I want to send the message that the LGBTQ population can access these spaces, that there is a possibility, that we have people with enough of a profile that, with their own merits, can access these spaces where decisions are made."
Even though there have been positive changes for LGBTQ rights in Latin America, there are still problems, and LGBTQ+ activists face violence and discrimination from some conservative groups. In 2022, same-sex marriage became legal in all 32 states of Mexico.
Guadalajara, Mexico, recently hosted the Gay Games with Hong Kong, promoting sports that include everyone. But some politicians who disagree with this faced off against the event. The sad loss of Baena adds a sad chapter to Mexico's LGBTQ+ story, as told by CNN.