Peru prosecutors to probe transgender man’s death in Bali

Sep 1, 2022, 6:22 AM | Updated: 6:25 pm
A demonstrator holds a pride flag during a protest to demand justice for Rodrigo Ventosilla, a Peru...

A demonstrator holds a pride flag during a protest to demand justice for Rodrigo Ventosilla, a Peruvian transgender man who died in Indonesia, outside the special prosecutor's office in Lima, Peru, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Cesar Campos)

(AP Photo/Cesar Campos)

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Prosecutors said Thursday they have opened an investigation into the death of a Peruvian transgender man who died this month after being detained on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali.

Peru’s Public Ministry said the probe by prosecutors who specialize in human rights will include an autopsy on Rodrigo Ventocilla, which had been demanded by LGBTQ activists amid allegations by the man’s family that he was tortured by Indonesian police.

Authorities in Indonesia have denied those claims, saying Ventocilla was not abused or mistreated. They say he died in a hospital Aug. 11 after complaining of stomach pains and showing signs of depression while in detention.

Peruvian officials said the investigation will look into allegations that Ventocilla suffered torture at the hands of two police officers and that Peru’s consul in Jakarta did not perform his duties in protecting Ventocilla. The investigation will also study allegations that Ventocilla’s Peruvian husband, Sebastián Marallanod, was tortured.

Julio Arbizu, a lawyer for Ventocilla’s family, said the investigation follows a complaint of torture that the family filed this week with the human rights prosecutor’s office.

Peru can assert jurisdiction in cases of alleged torture even if it happened in another country. Peru and Indonesia are among the more than 150 countries that have signed the United Nations Convention against Torture.

Ventocilla, a 32-year-old graduate student at Harvard University, was detained Aug. 6 at the island’s airport after arriving on his honeymoon with Marallano. Marallano was also detained when he tried to help Ventocilla.

Authorities said Ventocilla’s body had left Indonesia and was scheduled to arrive in Lima on Friday.

Luzmo Henríquez, a representative of the family of the deceased, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that relatives believe he died as a result of torture.

“He was detained because of his gender identity. His identity document did not match his appearance. That made him a suspect for the Indonesian police. He was extorted, tortured and has died,” Henríquez said.

Indonesian authorities deny any act of violence or discrimination. “Everything went according to standard operation,” Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto, a Bali police spokesperson, said Monday.

Officials in Indonesia have said customs officers found a package of brownies with Ventocilla that they suspected might contain cannabis and turned him over to police. Officials said Ventocilla was taken to the hospital the morning of Aug. 9.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Seattle Mariners including Jesse Winker, left; Ty France, third from right; Logan Gilbert, second f...
Tim Booth, Associated Press

Mariners end two decades of misery returning to postseason

Baseball is fun again in the Pacific Northwest in a way that it hasn’t been in more than two decades. The longest postseason drought in the four major professional sports ended Friday night when the Mariners earned a long-coveted spot in the Major League Baseball playoffs.
21 hours ago
FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2022. The satirical site The...
Associated Press

The Onion and the Supreme Court. Not a parody

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Onion has some serious things to say in defense of parody. The satirical site that manages to persuade people to believe the absurd has filed a Supreme Court brief in support of a man who was arrested and prosecuted for making fun of police on social media. “As the globe’s premier […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: October 4, Soviets launch Sputnik

Today in History Today is Tuesday, Oct. 4, the 277th day of 2022. There are 88 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Oct. 4, 1957, the Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into orbit. On this date: In 1777, Gen. George Washington’s troops […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Herschel Walker, GOP candidate for the US Senate for Georgia, speaks at a primary watch part...
Associated Press

Herschel Walker paid for girlfriend’s abortion, report says

DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) — Herschel Walker, who has vehemently opposed abortion rights as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, paid for an abortion for his girlfriend in 2009, according to a new report published late Monday. The candidate called the accusation a “flat-out lie” and said he would sue. The Daily Beast spoke […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Ecuador prison clash leaves at least 15 dead, 20 injured

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — A clash between inmates armed with guns and knives inside the Latacunga prison in central Ecuador on Monday left at least 15 people dead and 20 injured, authorities said. Officials attributed the fighting to national and international drug trafficking groups which have turned the Andean nation’s prisons into the scene of […]
21 hours ago
Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele addresses a media conference at Parliament in Well...
Associated Press

Solomon Islands agreed to accord after China references axed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Solomon Islands agreed to sign an accord between the United States and more than a dozen Pacific nations only after indirect references to China were removed, the Solomon Islands foreign minister said Tuesday. “There were some references that put us in a position where we’ll have to choose sides, and […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Peru prosecutors to probe transgender man’s death in Bali