(WB) The first openly transgender person elected in Peru died on Thursday from the coronavirus.

Luisa Revilla Urcia, 49, passed away in Trujillo, a city in northwestern Peru. Media reports indicate she tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks ago and had been admitted to a Trujillo hospital.

Revilla in 2014 won a seat on the local council in La Esperanza, a city adjacent to Trujillo. She left office in 2018.

Miluska Luzquiños, a trans activist who has been friends with Revilla for decades, on her Facebook page wrote that Revilla founded Casa Trans La Libertad to support the local trans community.

Revilla in 2014 participated in a conference in the Peruvian capital of Lima the LGBTQ Victory Institute and the U.S. Agency for International Development co-sponsored.

Then-U.S. Ambassador to Peru Brian Nichols in 2015 met with Revilla and other LGBT activists from the South American country. Revilla the same year attended another LGBTQ Victory Institute-sponsored conference that took place in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.

“We are living in very difficult times my dear sister,” wrote Luzquiños on her Facebook page. “What a great pain and a loss for Peru’s trans movement. You leave behind an important legacy.”

Peruvian Congressman Alberto de Belaúnde, who is openly gay, also mourned Revilla’s death.

“I’m very sorry for Luisa’s passing,” de Belaúnde told the Washington Blade on Friday.

De Belaúnde said the region in which Revilla was elected is a very conservative part of Peru. De Belaúnde also noted to the Blade that Revilla remains the only openly trans woman to hold public office in the country.

“Luisa was a very valiant woman,” said Belaúnde.


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