Dandara dos Santos murder Brazil
Harrowing stills from a video showing the beating to death of trans woman Dandara dos Santos in Brazil Youtube

Police in the Brazilian state of Ceara are looking for a group of teenagers who were filmed mercilessly beating a trans woman as she sobbed for mercy, before shooting her dead. The incident took place in the town of Fortaleza, reportedly on 15 February.

In the harrowing video, Dandara dos Santos, 42, is seen sitting on the floor sobbing as the youths kick her, stamp on her and beat her with shoes and planks of wood. A crowd can be heard laughing and cheering the youths on, with one apparently shouting, "They will kill the faggot!" Finally they dump her into a wheelbarrow and take her into an alley where, off camera, they shoot her.

The video was circulated by a LGBT group concerned about rising violence against the gay, lesbian and trans communities in what is traditionally seen as a tolerant country. Brazil Trans Network claim there have been five murders of trans women in the past month alone.

According to The Mirror, Police Inspector Damasceno said: "Six people have been identified and the video has helped with that. The footage was first circulated among LGBT groups which helped that process.

"The police began circulating the clip and we arrived at the house of two of the people identified but they fled. The investigation is already well advanced and we are going after the killers."

In a statement, Ceara's state government said: "The Government of Ceara hereby expresses its deepest condemnation of acts of violence and intolerance such as was practised against Dandara dos Santos, killed by brutal beating. It should be informed that the entire structure of the State Public Security is mobilised for the investigation of the crime and will punish those responsible.

"This government believes in and supports, through a human rights framework linked to the Office of the Governor and current public policies, that pluralism, diversity and tolerance are fundamental values for democracy."