originally posted to the DC Trans Coalition blog
Tomorrow, there will be a gathering in front of the State Department in DC to condemn the de facto government in Honduras for rampant police abuse, torture and targeted murder of LGBT people in Honduras since they came to power in a military coup d’etat last year.
Of those killed directly by the regime and the police, or due to the transphobia/homophobia fostered by the climate of violence, the vast majority have been trans women – many of whom have been grotesquely disfigured or shot by uniformed government agents. [Note: May be triggering to some people. Also, some of the external links throughout this post contain potentially offensive comments about trans women and possibly some accidental use of incorrect pronouns.] The Honduran de facto government refuses to investigate any of the 17 assassinations that have been documented by human rights observers. Activists have accused the conservative church-backed coup government of encouraging the murder of trans women and gay men, who are already marginalized and often forced to work the streets, because they are easy targets for violence.
Most recently, a gay peace activist who had released a statement stating “we say it is NOT ACCEPTABLE that in these past 4 months, during such a short period, 9 transexual and gay friends were violently killed” was himself murdered. The United States government has a long history of complicity in injustice in Honduras; join members of the LGBT community here in DC to tell the State Department not to recognize the coup government and to condemn outright the violence targeting LGBT Hondurans.
We must defend the human rights of trans people everywhere and stand in solidarity with trans communities in Honduras! More info can be found below the cut, copy-and-pasted from the PFLAG blog.
Date: Wednesday, January 27 2010
Time: 8-9am and 1-2pm rallies; 9am-1pm vigil
Action: Picket and speak out at U.S. State Department
Location: 2201 C Street NW
Walter Trochez Rally & Vigil: Community Response to Honduran Post-Coup’s LGBT Extermination Policy
At 8 am tomorrow, DC protestors will crowd the streets in front of the State Department (23rd St. between C & D Streets, NW), rallying against a post-coup Honduran de facto government policy of exterminating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. The rally and vigil responds directly to the spike in LGBT murders that have devastated the country over the past six months. Human rights advocates estimate that since President Manuel Zelaya was deposed in a recent coup, up to 18 LGBT individuals(with the vast majority being transgender women) were killed in Honduras. The Miami Herald reported that this level of violent hate crime equals the country’s level of reported homophobic and transphobic hate crimes recorded over the previous five years. Since the coup, many activists have noted there has been a noticeable uptick in violence which most attribute to the breakdown in laws and societal values.
In addition to memorializing those 18 LGBT individuals who were murdered, the protest is named in honor of HIV-positive, gay activist Walter Trochez, who was slain just last month, days after escaping a six-hour kidnapping ordeal. “Walter was afraid,” Reina Rivera, director of the Center for the Investigation and Promotion of Human Rights, told the newspaper. “He was a leader in the (pro-Zelaya) Resistance, but we thought he was in a precarious situation because he was also HIV-positive and gay in a patriarchal, machista and homophobic society.”
Many within and beyond the LGBT community are outraged that no arrests or charges related to the assassination of Walter Trochez along with the 18 additional LGBT individuals who were murdered has occurred. The systemic extermination of any group of individuals should absolutely be condemned. If you live in or around the DC Metro Area, we ask that you take some time to spread the word about this important rally and vigil, and participate if you can. It is important that we send a strong message to the President, the Secretary of State and our Congressional leaders that we demand that they take a bold stance against this egregious violence and disrespect of human life. Our solidarity and sincere compassion go to the family members and friends of those murdered.