Indonesian Govt Speaks of Peruvian Trans Activist's Death in Bali

25 August 2022 22:42 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry announced that there has been no communication with officials in Peru following the death of Rodrigo Ventocilla (32), a Harvard Kennedy School student, who died in a Bali prison during his visit to the island.

"From what I have read in mass media, this is linked to alleged smuggling of narcotics. In relation to this, there is a process that must be handled by the police. In terms of what has caused his death, it's best to ask the questions to the police," said Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah in a virtual press conference on Thursday, August 25, 2022. 

Ventocella was confirmed dead on August 11, 2022, at a local Denpasar City hospital under the status of a prisoner. Many alleged that his death is caused by physical abuse and discrimination by prison authorities, which was strongly denied by Bali police. 

Police claimed that the founder of transpeople advocacy group Diversidades Trans Masculinas died because of consuming drugs that were not confiscated, which police claim led to him falling ill before transporting the Peru citizen to Police Bhayangkara Hospital.

Citing Antaranews, the Head of Public Relations of the Bali Police, Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto, said that the cause of Ventocilla's death was due to a complication of body function failure that had an impact on impaired kidney, liver, and nervous system function in the patient's brain.

Ventocella was pronounced dead after five days in detention on drug possession charges, which he discovered when he arrived in Bali.

The student went to Bali with his partner for his honeymoon. His family said Ventocilla was detained under conditions of racial discrimination, transphobia, loss of basic rights, and being subjected to violence from the police when his family and lawyers did not know the exact condition of Ventocilla because he was in detention.

In a statement published on Tuesday, 23 August, 2022, Ventocilla's partner Sebastían Marallano and family called for law enforcement authorities in Peru to conduct a proper investigation into Ventocilla's death. 

DANIEL AHMAD

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