Body of missing Salvadoran trans activist found

El Salvador has been plagued by hate crimes against gay and trans people, and in 2017 activists erected crosses alongside a rainbow flag in the capital to honour victims

The body of a Salvadoran trans activist missing since Tuesday has been found in the northeast of the country, authorities confirmed.

Jade Camila Diaz, 27, is the second transgender woman killed in the country in the past 15 days, according to the advocacy group Comcavis Trans, who told local media there have been at least seven LGBT-related murders in 2019.

"We regret to inform you that Jade Diaz's body was found in the waters of the Torola River," the Attorney General's Office (FGR) tweeted Saturday.

Diaz had been dead for three or four days, the office for the attorney general said.

The body of Diaz, born Ricardo Manrique Diaz, was found with her "hands tied and weighted with a bag of stones," said Bianka Rodriguez, president of Comcavis Trans.

Diaz was creating a transgender women's collective in San Francisco Gotera, the provincial capital of Morazan state.

She had also worked on forced displacement and migration issues, which particularly affect the trans community.

Monica Linares, the director of another advocacy group, Aspid-Arcoiris Trans, told AFP she was "concerned" the Salvadoran state failed to "denounce" these crimes.

The murders remained "unpunished" as the perpetrators are never arrested, she said.

El Salvador introduced hate crimes into its legislation in 2015, but there have been no successful convictions for the murders of any LGBT individuals, a 2019 Human Rights Watch report found.