The Mossos d’Esquadra have arrested this Tuesday a man accused of killing his partner in Barcelona. The victim was known in the Sant Martí neighborhood as Sandra, she lived as a woman, despite the fact that her identity documents appear as a man. The couple had a history of abuse, according to police sources. The residents of the gigantic social block of the Barcelona City Council, on Selva de Mar street, confirm that fights were common on the tenth floor apartment where they had lived for at least a year.
The Catalan police have appeared at the building after ten in the morning, and they have found Sandra badly injured with various stab wounds. Her partner, José María, 52, has been arrested by the Mossos and she died shortly after. The neighbors say that the night before, Sandra asked the tenants on her landing for help after a new fight with her partner, who lives with mental health problems that make him periodically admitted to hospitals. “She’s going to kill me,” they say Sandra repeated on several occasions.
“You could see it coming,” laments Manuel Olivares, the concierge of the building, where more than 130 families reside, divided into two stairs. The comings and goings as a couple of Sandra and José María, 52, were constant. “She told him that she lived alone, that she would be better off,” laments the man. The same story is repeated among all those who knew the couple. Sometimes dressed in a skirt, but mostly in tracksuits and casual clothes, Sandra identified as a woman even though she had not physically undergone a sex change. “And woe to you that you referred to her as a man,” say the workers at the nearby pharmacy where they knew both of them.
In his documentation he appears as a man, police sources indicate, which means that up to now the case is being followed in an ordinary investigative court. Officially, the Catalan police assure that they are awaiting confirmation of the victim’s identity through a necro-review, without further details. In the official statement about the death, they refer to a “person”, without reference to the gender of the victim.
“If she called herself Sandra, introduced herself as Sandra and claimed to be Sandra, she is Sandra. There is no need to think about it any more, ”says Carla Antonelli, that she does not doubt that the case should be treated as sexist violence, regardless of whether Sandra responded“ to the stereotype of a woman ”. “Or is she less of a woman before someone gets the first hormone?” Asks the well-known trans activist. And she cites a circular from the Prosecutor’s Office from 2011 where she assures that cases that affect transsexual women must be dealt with by courts specialized in sexist violence.
In the building, despite the continuous signs of the conflictive coexistence between Sandra and José María, they are still surprised by the homicide. One of the neighbors who lived below the couple points out the constant noises and blows that she heard between them. “What a bad body”, they repeat, in a gigantic block, where many people come and go and in which most of them know each other, but are not intimate. Sandra and José María’s house is sealed, and discouragement is palpable in the atmosphere in the face of a predictable and unexpected outcome at the same time.
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