September is the month in many Central American countries of where political “Independence” from Spain is celebrated. In our county, Honduras, it is important to communicate to the world -and to organizations in solidarity with the LGBTI community – that Honduran society throughout its history has consigned us to a place where our human rights are violated in the most deplorable ways.
We now demand our rights from the Honduran state, the most essential of which are freedom of association, health, freedom of expression, education, employment, and especially the right to Life.
We have been killed in the most brutal and inhuman ways, in extreme ways that have never before been experienced by our community– so much so that is has impacted the very heart of our organizations. In the north of Honduras we now count 82 murders (2009-2012). As such, trans, gay men, lesbians, their families, and organizations in the defense of human rights have come together to denounce impunity for these killings. The President of the Republic, Porfirio Lobo, himself admits that none of those responsible for these murders have been put in prison.
For these reasons, we come to demand justice on the 13th of each month which is the anniversary – and today it has been 2 years and 9 months – of the assassination of our companion
Walter Orlando Trochez, who was Secretary of APUVIMEH, a leader of the LGBTTI community, an activist among persons with HIV, and a human rights defender. He was a young man whose feelings, aspirations, and right to life was cut short. He struggled side-by-side with his people, a people that are arbitrarily jailed, beaten, humiliated and ill-treated by members of the police and Army because of their writings and accompaniment in public protests against the 2009 Coup D’état and its aftermath. Walter offered his life for Justice and Freedom, to which we too commit ourselves. We demand Justice regarding those responsible for this vile assassination on 13 December 2009 in the very center of Tegucigalpa. We also demand to know who is in charge of clarifying this case and our other murdered comrades. As an LGBTTI community, we say that Justice is not only a privilege for elite sectors of society, where justice on one’s behalf is reached because action is taken and adequate time is devoted for investigation.
We demand that the Honduran State not hesitate to provide its citizens with the security that we seek so much. We call out to the Public Ministry, since we believe that our voice and call has not been heard. We will not be silenced until Impunity is no longer the rule. We will continue in the hope for Justice and Respect for Human Rights to prevail, especially for the LGBTI community in Honduras.
José Antonio Zambrano
Tegucigalpa, Honduras , 13 de septiembre de 2012
Translation by Gary Cozette, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, Member of HSN. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org