Jesus Ociel Baena
Jesus Ociel Baena AFP

A non-binary Mexican magistrate whose death sparked protests and anger among the LGBTQ community appears to have been the victim of a murder-suicide committed by their partner, investigators said Tuesday.

The body of Jesus Ociel Baena -- the first Mexican citizen to be granted a non-binary passport -- was found with that of another person at Baena's home in Aguascalientes state on Monday, the prosecutor's office said.

Despite prosecutors ruling out the presence of a third person at the scene, protesters gathered in Mexico City insisting Baena was the victim of a hate crime.

Other protests popped up around the country.

On Tuesday, Aguascalientes prosecutor Jesus Figueroa told local TV there was no evidence of a hate crime.

"We consider that first there was the privation of life of the magistrate and later self-privation by their partner," he said.

According to initial investigations, the only movement captured on cameras at Baena's house was the couple's arrival in the early hours of Monday, about seven hours before their bodies were found.

Figueroa said Baena had 20 wounds in total, including one to the jugular vein that likely claimed their life.

The partner, identified only as Dorian Daniel N, had cuts on their fingers seemingly caused by manipulating a razor blade used in the attack. They had slit their own throat, said Figueroa.

But Baena's sister Cynthia said the partners were peaceful people who "loved each other very much" and "had many plans for the future" and accused the prosecution of lying.

"All that is false. They had just arrived from their trip to Oaxaca, together, happy, content," the sister told reporters, claiming that she spoke with her brother on Sunday night and "they were both happy."

Baena, 38, became the first non-binary magistrate to serve on a Mexican electoral tribunal in October 2022, and was reportedly the first non-binary magistrate in all of Latin America.

In July, Baena said authorities were offering protection following multiple attacks and social media death threats.

Rights advocacy group Letra S took to X, formerly Twitter, to urge Mexican authorities to investigate "thoroughly and without prejudice what happened."

And Felix Medina, senior human rights official in the interior ministry, said the investigation should follow protocols set out for cases of aggression against members of the LGBTQ community with "no evidence discarded."

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