Autopsy results have been released, exposing the abuse of a transgender woman that died while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. Roxsana Hernández was only 33 years-old and seeking asylum in the U.S. from her home in Honduras. During an interview with Buzzfeed News a month before her death, Roxsana reported that she fled Honduras when she contracted HIV after being gang-raped by 4 members of the MS-13 gang.
Once processed in the U.S. on May 13, 2018, she was transferred to the Cibola Correctional Facility in New Mexico. Cibola is operated under contract by CoreCivic, the second-largest private prison company in the U.S. Forensic Pathologist Kris Sperry conducted the autopsy and concluded that Roxsanas cause of death was most likely from “severe complications of dehydration superimposed upon HIV infection.” She also noted that she found evidence of physical abuse, with “deep bruising” on her hands and abdomen, evidence of blunt-force trauma “indicative of blows, and/or kicks, and possible strikes with blunt object.” Isa Noyola, Deputy Director at the Transgender Law Center explains that, “Paired with the abuse we know transgender people regularly suffer in ICE detention, the death of Ms. Hernández sends the message that transgender people are disposable and do not deserve dignity, safety, or even life.”