Mexican non-binary magistrate found dead

A prominent Mexican magistrate who was the country’s first citizen to be granted a non-binary passport was found dead on Monday, authorities said.

The body of Jesus Ociel Baena, an “activist of the LGBTIQ+ community and that of another person were found in a house in Aguascalientes”, the state prosecutor’s office said.

The death could be related to a “personal matter”, prosecutors said, ruling out the possibility of a third person at the scene.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of both deaths, officials said.

Baena, 38, became Mexico’s first non-binary magistrate to serve on an electoral tribunal in October 2022.

Baena received the country’s first passport that did not mention the holder’s gender on May 17, with Mexico’s former foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard hailing it a “historic day”.

At the end of July, authorities granted Baena protection following “multiple attacks” and social media “death threats”, Baena said.

The death sparked protests by the LGBTQ community in the Latin American country.

In Mexico City, dozens of people carrying candles and multi-coloured flags gathered to call for justice following Baena’s death.

Rights advocacy group Letra S took to X, formerly Twitter, to urge Mexican authorities to investigate “thoroughly and without prejudice what happened”.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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