PBI-Honduras accompanies Asociación Arcoiris trans rights defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On August 19, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project highlighted in their monthly newsletter, “At the beginning of July, we received the news of the murder of the trans rights defender Bessy Ferrera, who worked with Asociación Arcoiris [Rainbow Association], accompanied by PBI-Honduras.”

Washington Blade reports, “Bessy Ferrera, the sister of Rihanna Ferrera, a trans woman who ran for the country’s Congress in 2017, was killed in Tegucigalpa. The Blade on [July 8] saw a picture of Bessy Ferrera’s body slumped over on a set of stairs.”

Asociación Arcoiris commented, “This news has undoubtedly taken us by surprise. It leaves us with a lump in our throat and a feeling of powerlessness to see how we are being killed cruelly and the authorities of this country are doing nothing.”

From June 2015 to March 2016, six members of Arcoíris were killed. PBI-Honduras has noted that Arcoíris activists have survived assassination attempts, while many others have faced intimidation, harassment and physical attacks.

Front Line Defenders has reported, “Threats and assassination attempts against the members of Arcoiris have not been taken seriously by the authorities in the past, sending a message of impunity to perpetrators.”

Arcoíris coordinator Donny Reyes says, “The biggest problem that we face is the violence of the state security forces towards the LGBT+ community: the armed forces, the police, the criminal investigation police, military police, municipal police.”

Washington Blade adds, “Activists in the Central American country with whom the Blade has spoken in recent years say members of Honduras’ National Police and the Honduran military among those who target trans women.”

It then highlights, “Violence, along with discrimination and poverty, has prompted many trans Hondurans to migrate to the U.S. and Mexico over the last two years.”

That article – Journalist among three Honduran transgender women killed in recent days – reports that “La Galaxia de Santi” journalist Santi Carvajal was killed on July 6 and Antonia Laínez was killed on July 3.

PBI-Honduras notes, “At the end of this month, Arcoiris and other LGBTIQ+ organizations will participate in a pride march in the city of San Pedro Sula, claiming the rights of this community and in commemoration of Bessy Ferrera and other murdered human rights defenders.”

Further reading: Peace Brigades International and the human right to sexual orientation and gender identity

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