Jesús Ociel Baena, Mexico's first openly nonbinary judge, was found dead in the central state of Aguascalientes on Monday alongside another person identified by local media as the magistrate's partner, Dorian Herrera....
Jesús Ociel Baena, Mexico's first openly nonbinary judge, was found dead in the central state of Aguascalientes on Monday alongside another person identified by local media as the magistrate's partner, Dorian Herrera.1
The state prosecutor's office initially ruled the deaths as murder-suicide — a hypothesis that received fierce backlash from the victims' family and friends — before changing tune and claiming that drugs may have been involved.2
Mexican Security Secretary Rosa Icela Rodríguez, however, stated an investigation is still pending, and it remains unclear if 'it was a homicide or an accident.'3
Baena, a prominent LGBTQ+ figure who became a magistrate in 2022, pushed conservative boundaries further in May, becoming the country's first citizen to be granted a nonbinary passport.4
According to Alejandro Brito, director of the LGBTQ+ rights group Letra S, Baena's gender identity and visibility on social media earned the judge 'many hate messages and even threats of violence and death.'5
According to official data, at least 305 violent hate crimes, including murder and disappearances, were registered against sexual minorities in Mexico between 2019 and 2022.6
Narrative A, as provided by CityNews Ottawa. Mexican authorities have a shady record of dismissing murders as crimes of passion in a pattern that risks being repeated in this tragic case. Rather than doing their due diligence, authorities initially sought to reach a quick conclusion — a move that only serves to aggravate the prejudices that often fuel crimes against minorities.
Narrative B, as provided by The Guardian. Although there's a lot of attention to Baena's death due to their gender identity, preliminary findings show no evidence of a third party at the scene, meaning the deaths could have been down to a personal matter. No theories should be thrown out, nor should any conclusions be reached, until authorities — who are making every effort to investigate all avenues — find out more.