The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemned Monday the recent murder in Mexico of a 16-year-old transsexual.

Octavio Hernandez Villanueva was found dead last Wednesday in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.

"The information available further indicates that the body was found wearing women's clothes, presenting abrasions and a knife wound on the neck," the IACHR said in a statement.

A number of social organizations have expressed concern about the negligence of the authorities in the investigation of the killing, based on their assumption that it might be a crime of passion.

"The IACHR reminds the State of its obligation to investigate such acts on its own initiative and to punish those responsible," added the release from the panel, which is an independent institution of the Organization of American States.

The commission urged Mexican authorities to "conduct an investigation that takes into account whether this murder was committed because of the gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation of the victim."

The IACHR also insisted that the Mexican government must especially protect children and teenagers, whose age makes them particularly vulnerable.

Pointing to a flow of reports from Mexico on killings, torture, arbitrary arrest and other abuses against lesbians, gays, and transsexual, bisexual, and intersex persons, the commission said that the authorities' ineffective response "fosters high rates of impunity, which in turn lead to the chronic repetition of such crimes, leaving the victims and their families defenseless." EFE