Case Studies

Carolina: Fighting for her right to work


On May 3 2020, days before the Bogota City Hall withdrew the gender-based lockdown measure Pico y Genero, Carolina, a trans woman from the Santa Fé neighbourhood, was the victim of police violence.

Carolina says that after she and her companions rudely responded to the police, several officers “beat me up, scampered me to 22nd Street, and it was worse there.” Once on this street, Carolina said that several police officers beat her, electrocuted her, and kicked her.

Police then took her to a CAI, Immediate Action Command, on Calle 24. At CAI they gave her a summons and released her four hours later. The police officers repeated several times that they had assaulted her in order to “teach her a lesson”, and they assured her that they did not care about the videos recording the aggression.

During the coronavirus quarantine, sex workers in Santa Fé had no choice but continue to go out to work as no financial aid or housing support was provided by the authorities. They needed to work to survive. As of June 2020, there was no safety protocol for female sex workers in the Santa Fé neighbourhood.

Red Comunitaria Trans developed a successful campaign to create an emergency fund for transgender sex workers in Santa Fé. They provided 600 housing grants for transgender women to see them through the quarantine. Watch this short video to learn more about the initiative (in Spanish with English subtitles).