An Argentine woman recently became the first on-duty transgender police chief in all of Latin America.
“This is a milestone,” Analía Pasantino told The Associated Press on Thursday. “It’s an unprecedented and important step to show Latin America and the world that we are an open institution.”
Pasantino’s recent feat came at a price. Despite having served as a decorated officer for 20 years while presenting as male, she was forced to take a leave of absence after she came out as a transgender woman in 2008.
For years, she would provide several psychiatric evaluations hoping to be reinstated on the police force, but a committee would continue to extend her leave and declare her unfit to serve.
“[Being transgender] was always seen as illness,” the 49-year-old told AP. “As crude as it sounds, the final diagnosis was: a disturbance in gender identity that made me unrecoverable to the police force.”
But Pasantino insisted and was finally publicly reinstated into the federal police force on May 8, and was appointed deputy police commissioner in the judicial communications department. She was accompanied by her wife, Silvia Mauro, who has been by her side for 31 years and throughout her transition.
“After a long process, which included irregular administrative situations, actions without grounds and notable discrimination, the federal Ministry of Security resolved to reincorporate Pasantino, who meets every requirement and conditions to serve in the force, to the Division of Judicial Communications of the Federal Police,” said a press statement by the Ministry of Security, published by Argentine newspaper La Nación.
Watch the video above to learn more about Pasantino.
Video produced by Jessica Carro.