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Shi is an LGBTIQ+ rights defender and the director of Casa Rara, an organization that seeks to create spaces of opportunity for LGBTIQ+ children, adolescents and young people in Costa Rica who have suffered from violence in their family and community environment because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The organization has successfully created collective learning spaces among peers in order to support members of the youth who are part of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Despite having a long history of democratic stability and legalizing same-sex marriage in 2020, issues such as violent crimes and discrimination against minorities continue to prevail at an alarming rate. Authorities estimated a homicide rate of 12 per 100,000 people in 2022. Criminal groups transport drugs along the coasts, and the government has reported that many homicides there are related to organized crime and drug trafficking.1 Additionally, although the law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, authorities have discriminated against LGBTQI+ people, with reports of attacks by police on transgender sex workers, while religious and conservative actors continue to undermine the legitimacy of marriage equality.

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