Every month, outside the Ministerio Público (Public Ministry) in downtown Tegucigalpa, Honduras, LGBTs protest 85 unsolved murders. The protests are happening on the 13th of each month “because Walter Tróchez was killed on December 13, 2009,” said leader Donis Reyes.
Tróchez was a political activist and LGBT rights leader who was killed after threats and previous attacks. His death led to worldwide protests, including by Amnesty International.
LGBT Honduran groups say that there have been 54 murders since January 2010. In all cases, the police have not arrested and prosecuted the perpetrators, Reyes said. “There is total impunity, no murder solved,” Reyes said.
The protesters were dressed in costumes that mimicked death and the goddess Themis, who represents justice, and carrying signs that said: “No more crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Honduras” and “Justice for Walter Tróchez.”
In early 2011, representatives of the LGBT community met with Human Rights Minister, Ana Pineda, to discuss the problems. The demonstrators presented the project “Building Public Safety Initiative in Tegucigalpa Sexual Diversity,” which asked the Public Ministry, in particular the Human Rights Prosecutor, to investigate the deaths of their comrades and make a robust response.
Pineda has said 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.”
Both the United Nations and the U.S. government have expressed concern over the murder of LGBTs and have requested the State to comply with measures to ensure their safety and punish crimes against them.
Since the 2009 coup, LGBT groups have reported increased targeted and brutal persecution and many people have fled the country. The persecution against the LGBT community is more than just political. It reflects a worrying change in the attitude and policy of the Honduran government from that of ousted President Manuel Zelaya.
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