Escaped Colombian convict supposedly caught — is this transgender news? If so, how do we cover it?

newsgroupnewspapersTHE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — In the first place, all the reports in English (at this writing) sources a British tabloid which is a pretty big red flag right there — not one word of the report can be considered as factual, however, looking at reports translated from other languages, although some appear to be tabloids as well, it appears that an escaped Colombian drug lord may have had at least partial sex reassignment surgery since her escape from prison. When caught, she used the name Rosalinda.

Normally, I would not even cover a crime-by-a-trans-person story, however, in this case, we have to consider the possibility that someone may have made a surgical change to their appearance to evade capture.

However, to be clear, at this point, we don’t know for a fact there was sex reassignment surgery. If there was, we don’t know for a fact if it was done to evade capture. There enough reasonable doubt here until more facts surfaces.

Here’s my dilemma — do I disclose Rosalinda’s birth name or give her the benefit of the doubt? Another dilemma, is there such a thing as a fraudulent sex change? If so, how do we approach reporting on this? Most especially, what is the pronoun protocol for this?

The crimes for which the escaped Colombian drug criminal was convicted of were pretty brutal — 60 years for torturing kidnap victims — should this factor in the disclosure of previous names/gender?

Feel free to comment on this as its new territory for all of us.

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Categories: Law Enforcement, Police, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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15 replies

  1. I would air on the side of caution and give her the benefit of the doubt until we learn more. There is no harm in that, as opposed to the other way around. Trans until proven fraudulent? and no persons criminal history no matter how gruesome should exclude them from being treated with dignity.

  2. Definitely caution. Trans until she says otherwise.

  3. I was convicted several times for using/dealing cannabis (in the Netherlands of all places) autorities really didnt like me then
    I did time but never felt criminal, life must be somuch harder in these countries, specially when (stealth?) trans
    we need more serious backgound info I think

  4. First, we need reliable reportage, not Supermarket Tabloids. If the GRS is genuine, we may not ever learn her motivation for the surgery, i.e. to avoid recapture or if genuinly a Trans individual. This IS a touchy case and too much publicity at this point will only give ammunition to the Transphobes out there.

  5. Her mother appeared in national news claiming she’s trans since she was 16. The Colombian news is a terribly transfobic, and frequently uses the wrong pronouns, calling her “it”, and referring to her as a male transvestite. to stir political animosity against the transgender population. She claims to be the victim of a false positive from the police. I think that the justice system would have to weight this one out. Here is the news: http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/nacional/articulo-420635-travesti-de-barranquilla-era-conviccion-y-no-evadir-justicia

  6. “Escaped” is wrong; she was released (after expiration of a custody limit I think) and then rearrested. JC: I think she transitioned 16 years ago, not when she was 16.

  7. Daria: In the article it says the mother declares that she cross dresses since she was 16.

  8. well she is trans ór a crossdresser, or she has 2 mothers maybe

  9. I also agree with others in that regardless of whatever Rosalina did, she should still be given respect. It was evident from my bit of research that I did that there was a lot more to this story than meets the eye. And if you also note, she was a political opponent who ran for election in October 2011.

    However looking at her images on her old male Facebook account where she last posted around the time of that election, Giovanni, was very androgynous in her appearance, and could have already been on hormone therapy and starting transition due to feminisation where she already had extremely soft definition in her facial features and her skin.

    So I am inclined to believe that she is trans* and not just a crossdresser who was trying to escape the law. This whole thing smells like a rat, as if she was setup and framed by political opponents and the police.

  10. Okay, I was probably confused by a bad machine translation.

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