Dayana Nicole Castillo García, 31 | Transgender | Murdered | 2009 Neighbors heard Dayana’s screams and later discovered her body in the beauty salon she owned. She had been stabbed twenty times and was lying in a pool of blood. Avenida Fernando B Terry y Tarapoto, La Banda de Shilcayo, Perú
Dulce Stefanía Centeno Taipe, 38 | Transgender | Murdered | 2013 Dulce was found naked and strangled in a hostel room. Los Chancas 244, cuarto 309, Santa Anita, Lima, Perú
Brenda Zarit Sifuentes Andrade, 36 | Transgender | Murdered | 2018 Brenda’s body was discovered by her mother on the morning of her thirty-sixth birthday. She had deep stab wounds to her chest and back. Her throat had been slit. Police believe the man responsible for the murder is currently imprisoned on unrelated charges. It is unlikely he will be charged with Brenda’s murder. Calle San Pedro 526, La Esperanza, Trujillo, Perú
Yessica C. | Transgender | Survivor | 2010 Tied, beaten, gang-raped by four men and sodomized with objects, Yessica was left to die on nearby farmland. Her screams were heard the following morning by passersby. Pisco, Ica, Perú
While Peru’s landscape is often celebrated for its rich history, the series Fatherland shifts this perception and offers a counter narrative, exposing viewers to the scars born from decades of a relentless epidemic of hate. Through extensive research from within the gay and transgender communities, we document the sites of hate crimes throughout Peru’s cities, deserts, the Andes, and deep within the jungles of the Amazon. Although no assailant is shown, the series underscores the dangerous effects of patriarchy and intolerance, and examines how these constructs create the toxic environments that lend little worth to LGBTQ lives. Each image stands as a denouncement of the blatant disregard for non-conforming lifestyles that challenge the agendas of religious and political leaders who continue to enable the cycle of violence by intentionally oppressing the LGBTQ community or dismissing and ignoring their needs.
Due to the extremely violent nature of these assaults, we believe the energy of those whose lives have been taken remain at these locations – and the brutality of each event has scarred the land. For Peruvian audiences, these terse accounts of brutality place an unsettling mirror reflecting the dark underbelly of their own culture. For the rest of the world, the photographs serve to unmask a prevailing apathy toward the social injustices and everyday struggle for safety and survival that many LGBTQ-identifying populations endure.
It is common for Peru’s victims of homophobic and transphobic persecution to have their stories absent from public record and delegated to anecdotal remembrance. Fatherland seeks to mitigate this void. To that end, each image is captioned with the name of the victim, their age, and the year, location, and nature of the assault. The series began in 2014 and is ongoing.
Joel Arquímedes Molero Sánchez, 19 | Gay | Murdered | 2013 Joel was tortured by having his genitals, fingers, and toes cut from his body. He was then beheaded and burned on a straw mattress beside a landfill. His body was identified by the bracelet he wore on his right hand. Rodriguez de Mendoza, Chachapoyas, Amazonas, Perú
Luis Fernando Vasquez Roque, 26 | Gay | Murdered | 2010 Luis’s wrists and ankles were tied to his bed, and he was strangled to death. His body was found by his cousin. Calle Las Paltas 3992, Urbanización Naranjal, Lima, Perú
Carlos Alberto Reategui Ramirez 12 | Gay | Suicide | 2015 Carlos Alberto was harassed at school for being gay, but the constant abuse he endured at home from his father would be the cause of his suicide. On the day of his death his father had beaten him and shaved his head. Carlos Alberto hanged himself in his home, leaving a note that read “I hate my father. I’m killing myself because of him.” Calle 23 de Marzo, Iquitos, Perú
Zuleimy Aylen Sanchez Cárdenas, 14 | Transgender | Murdered | 2016 Zuleimy was drinking with friends when gunshots from an unknown assailant took her life. Police believe she had been murdered by a boy who discovered she was transgender after he had been caressing her. Friends of the victim believe she was killed by a hired assassin. She was shot four times, with three of the bullets entering her head. Zuleimy had begun transitioning just two years prior. La Esperanza, Wichanzao, Trujillo, Peru
M.H.M.F., 17 | Gay | Murdered | 2019 Unable to accept his son being gay, Humberto Herrera Altamirano shot him in the head and wounded the boy’s mother as she attempted to protect him. Fearing retribution from villagers, Humberto fled the scene. His body was discovered hours later with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. Casa 179, Alto Pachiza, Distrito de Saposoa, San Martin, Perú