PBI-Honduras expresses solidarity with Arcoiris and the LGBT community following the murder of Mia Zavala

Published by Brent Patterson on

On November 10, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted: “[The LGBT Rainbow Association] Arcoiris publicly denounces the cruel murder on November 8 of Mia Zavala, an LGTB activist in southern Honduras. Likewise, they demand that the national authorities investigate and punish those responsible for this act.”

PBI-Honduras adds: “We join this call and we express our solidarity with the entire LGTB community in the country.”

Journalist Dina Meza has written that from the time of the 2009 coup in Honduras to July 2019, 325 people from the LGBT community have been killed. Honduras also had the highest per capita number of transgender murders in the world between 2008 and 2014, according to a report by Transgender Europe.

Furthermore, of the 141 violent deaths reported between 2010 and 2014, less than one-quarter (30) of the cases have been prosecuted in the courts.

PBI-Honduras began accompanying Arcoiris in July 2015.

Earlier this year, PBI-Honduras noted: “Since the assassination of trans rights defender Bessy Ferrera and the attempted murder of Vicky Carvajal in July 2019, Arcoiris has reported at least 15 security incidents, including cases of intimidation, threats, surveillance, physical assaults, muggings, attempted kidnapping and attempted murder.”

From June 2015 to March 2016, six members of Arcoiris were killed.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, 2-spirit and intersex (LGBTQ2I) community also face discrimination and oppression in Canada.

In late December 2019, trans rights activist Julie Berman was murdered in Toronto, Canada. Pink News reported at that time that she had tirelessly worked to battle transphobia and raising awareness of the rocketing rates of anti-trans violence across the city.

A study published by Trans PULSE in 2015 found that 20 per cent of trans people in the province of Ontario had been physically or sexually assaulted for being trans and another 34 per cent had been verbally threatened or harassed but not assaulted. The same study said 24 per cent reported having been harassed by police.

Arcoiris coordinator Donny Reyes has stated: “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.”

Reyes adds: “The research studies that Arcoiris and other organizations have done reflect the same pattern — more than 60 per cent of hate crimes have been committed against us by those forces who should be guaranteeing our safety.”

Peace Brigades International-Canada mourns the death of Mia Zavala and expresses our solidarity with Arcoiris and the LGBT community in Honduras.

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