1 February 2011 – PinkNews
Six trans women killed in Honduras in two months
by PinkNews.co.uk Staff Writer
LGBT campaigners are calling on Honduran authorities to fully investigate the murders of six transgender women in just 60 days. According to Human Rights Watch, the first death was on November 29th and the latest took place on January 17th. The women were murdered on the streets or in their homes in the capital, Tegucigalpa, and in the cities of Comayagüela and San Pedro Sula. The attacks ranged from gunshots to setting the victims on fire.
Indyra Mendoza, director of Honduran lesbian group Red Lésbica Cattrachas, said: “The impunity with which these murders have taken place has shaken the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Honduras. “We need legislative change and prevention programs to end discrimination in Honduras, because at the moment we are living our lives in hiding.”
Human Rights Watch said the women appeared to have been tortured before being killed. The victims were Idania Roberta Sevilla Raudales, 58; Luisa Alvarado Hernández, 23; Lady Óscar Martínez Salgado, 45; Reana ‘Cheo’ Bustamente; Briget Makaligton and Fergie Alice Ferg. The government is failing to tackle the killings, Human Rights Watch claims.
Dipika Nath, researcher in the LGBT programme at the charity, said: “The government needs to act urgently to fulfill its obligations under international treaties and swiftly arrest and bring to trial those responsible for these murders. It is up to the government to fulfill its commitment to protect the rights of all Hondurans regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation.”
February 02, 2011 – Advocate.com
Activists: Investigate Honduran Transgender Murders
by Advocate.com Editors
Local activists and human rights groups have called on law enforcement officials in Honduras to investigate the recent murders of transgender women in the Central American country, where advocates point to a rise in hate crimes against LGBT individuals. Human Rights Watch reports that six transgender women had been murdered in recent months in Honduras, where a 2009 HRW report found widespread failure to investigate attacks on transgender individuals.
"Our fellow transsexuals are murdered on the street with a gunshot to the head," Yndira Mendoza, director of Red Lésbica Cattrachas, told CNN World. "Our fellow gay people are being brutally killed inside their homes. But the last five murders that have happened here in Tegucigalpa have been extreme hate crimes that we have seen in recent times. Victims have been raped, stabbed, shot at, and even strangled." Blabbeando has extensive coverage of the Honduran violence against LGBT individuals, click here to read.
12 de Abril de 2011 – Sentidog
Abuso policial contra homosexuales en Honduras (Police Abuse Homosexuals in Honduras)
Tegucigalpa – (La Tribuna) – Día a día los integrantes de la comunidad Lésbica, Gay, Transexual y Bisexual (LGTB) salen con temor de sus hogares por el incremento a la discriminación y a los homicidios que han sufrido en los últimos cinco años, según un estudio. Asimismo, los miembros de la Asociación Arcoiris de Honduras, afirmaron que el informe que realizaron en conjunto con el Servicio Judío Americano Mundial dio a conocer que el mayor represor y violador de sus derechos humanos y que está obstruyendo el desenvolvimiento de sus actividades diarias es la policía.
La organización condena la persecución que sufren centenares de personas aglutinadas en la comunidad, debido a una orientación sexual o identidad de género diferente a la heterosexual. El informe denominado “Crímenes de Odio”, revela que en cinco años hubo al menos unos 171 homicidios contra homosexuales, cuando al año se reportaban de 3 a 4 crímenes, mientras que en el 2009 fue un año sangriento ya que hubo más de 20 integrantes de las asociaciones asesinados, ninguna persona ha sido enjuiciada por estos crímenes.
El activista de Arcoiris, Patrick Pavón, afirmó que todas las violaciones de derechos humanos que han tenido y las agresiones físicas las están cometiendo los policías principalmente con la comunidad transexual. “El miedo lo tenemos todos los heterosexuales y los homosexuales debido a la violencia que impera en el país, sin embargo, es un poco mayor para nosotros, porque somos más visibles cuando salimos a las calles, entonces la gente tiende más a maltratarnos, discriminarnos, robarnos y hasta matarnos”, indicó. “No sólo las transexuales son las más afectados, los gay y las lesbianas también, sólo que las transexuales son más visibles que nosotros, la policía es uno de las primeras personas que agrede a esta población, ya que se van a los centros de trabajo donde ellas ejercen y los golpean, les quitan el dinero que han hecho y las intimidan”.
July 22, 2011 – Latin America Press
by Alejandro F. Ludeña
Close to 40 LGBT citizens have been killed in the last two years. While the communities around the world celebrate Gay Pride Day on June 28, the date is infamous in Honduras. Forty years after the Stonewall riots, when a group of homosexuals stood up to police to fight a raid on a New York City bar, a milestone for the gay movement, that day Honduras saw the Americas’ first coup d’état of the 21st century. In the aftermath, a slew of human rights violations occurred, many of them violence against Honduras’ gay community. Homophobia in Honduras, sadly, is rampant. Attacks against homosexuals were worrying way before the coup.
In May 2009, one month before the coup that unseated President Manuel Zelaya, who governed from 2006 to 2009, US rights organization Human Rights Watch warned that Honduran police systematically abused homosexual Hondurans. The report recommended that Zelaya’s then government investigate the wave of violence against homosexual and transgendered Hondurans and reports of police brutality, extortion and other abuses and find those responsible. But after Zelaya was ousted, the crimes grew in number exponentially. According to data from Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, based on local Honduran sexual defense groups, at least 38 people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered communities were killed since the coup. Most victims were transgendered prostitutes on the streets of Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the country’s largest cities.
The reason violence is escalating against the LGBT community is not clear due to a lack of police investigation and social indifference to the crimes this group is facing. “We knew what a coup meant and how that would harm us. That’s why we protested against [the coup],” said Iván Banegas, coordinator of the group Colectivo Violeta, an LGBT rights group. He said that after the coup, another problem was that the community gained visibility. “After the coup, the army and police came down especially hard on the transsexuals, many of whom live on prostitution and were in the streets in the middle of the curfews,” he said.
One of the most emblematic cases was that of Walter Trochez, last Dec. 13. He was gunned down while in the center of the capital. Nine days earlier, he had been kidnapped and tortured, but his captors had set him free. A human rights activist, Trochez was one of the most prominent voices against homophobic crimes after the coup. For Sally Valladares, a lawyer at the Center for the Investigation and Promotion of Human Rights, most of the crimes were politically motivated. “The police had come down on those who defended human rights, including those of the LGBT community,” she said.
The Honduran government has recognized the LGBT community’s vulnerability and has promised a greater effort to stop these crimes and discrimination. Human Rights Minister Ana Pineda said then that “homophobia is a reprehensible act from every point of view when it is an individual doing it, but even worse when it is because of an action or lack thereof by a state servant.”
International pressure for investigation
According to Banegas, the government of President Porfirio Lobo has approached leaders in the LGBT community to work on how to adapt the criminal code so hate crimes based on sexual preference are explicitly punished. Donny Reyes, coordinator of the Arcoiris Association — or “Rainbow Association” — an LGBT rights group, is more skeptical. “As of today, there is nothing concrete in place to fight the discrimination that we suffer,” he told Latinamerica Press.
Crimes against homosexuals and journalists have caught the attention of the United States. Eleven journalists were murdered between March 2010 and May 2011. The US embassy has repeatedly called on Honduran authorities and has even sent FBI agents at Lobo’s request to help with the investigations into the murders of members of the country’s most vulnerable groups. Some lawmakers, like Christian-Democrat Orle Solís, president of the Human Rights Commission in the Parliament, consider this type of measures a sign that the state is willing to fight hate crimes. But Reyes dismissed them as superficial and that the FBI investigations rarely go anywhere. “When the FBI leaves, we’ll be the same or worse,” he said.
Valladares, for his part, believes that the government is not really committed to solving these crimes and is just reacting to international pressure. “The respect and protection of the LGBT community is not in the agenda of this government,” she said. It is unclear whether other political groups, like the newly founded Broad Front, the electoral arm of the National Popular Resistance Front, a movement formed by opponents to the coup, will be able to combat a deeply-seed homophobia in Honduran society. “Even within the Resistance, where we are and want to be, we’ll have to work very hard to defeat homophobia,” said Reyes.
The fight for tolerance will not affect only members of the LGBT community. In a society based on the lack of respect for differences and authoritarianism of the politically powerful, the battle for respect of sexual diversity is the tip of the iceberg to fighting intolerance. “It’s a fight against all forms of discrimination,” said Banegas. “We don’t only want change for our collective, but for all Hondurans.” —Latinamerica Press.
October 03, 2011 – On Top Magazine
Ricky Martin’s Sexuality Threatens Honduras’ Morality, Religious Leaders Say
by On Top Magazine Staff
Ricky Martin‘s request for a Honduran visa is being challenged by an ecumenical group of religious leaders who say the singer sets a bad moral example for the country’s youth, Honduran daily El Heraldo reported. Church leaders are reportedly demanding that the Honduran government deny a visa to Martin, who is set to perform in the country on October 16 at the Chochi Sosa stadium in Tegucigalpa, Honduras as part of his Musica+Alma+Sexo (MAS) worldwide tour.
Africo Madrid, the minister of interior of Honduras, told the paper that Evangelical and Catholic leaders argue that Martin’s nuclear family “is not the type of family that the laws of Honduras and the Honduran society wants to build and encourage to young people and the rest of the population.” The officials must act to “protect the moral and ethical principles of our society,” Madrid added.
Martin came out gay last year on his blog – writing that he was “a fortunate homosexual man” – and subsequently talked about his experience in his memoir Me. The 39-year-old Martin lives with his boyfriend Carlos Gonzalez and his twin sons Mateo and Valentino. The Honduran secretary of state’s office has denied receiving any requests to deny Martin entry into the country.