PBI-Honduras accompanies LGBTQI+ defenders celebrating IACHR ruling and call for Gender Identity Act

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On July 27, PBI-Honduras tweeted: “PBI accompanies organizations defending LGTBIQ+ human rights who celebrate the sentence of Vicky Hernández in which the State of Honduras [was found responsible] for violation of the right to life and remember that historically they experience violence, stigmatization and discrimination.”

Yesterday, the Arcoiris LGBT Association posted on Facebook: “We call you tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to join us for the press conference on the IACHR court ruling to the State of Honduras for the hate crime of Vicky Hernandez and the need for a Gender Identity Act. The conference will be held in front of the Supreme Court Justice.”

The IACHR ruling

Last month, The Guardian reported: “In a landmark ruling for transgender rights, the Honduras government has been found responsible for the 2009 murder of the trans woman and activist Vicky Hernández.”

“The ruling, at the inter-American court of human rights [IACHR], was published on [June 28] the 12th anniversary of Hernández’s death, and marks the first time the highest regional human rights court has held a state accountable for failing to prevent, investigate and prosecute the death of a trans person.”

“The court has ordered Honduras, which has the world’s highest rate of murders of trans people, to pay reparations to Hernández’s family and implement a sweeping range of measures designed to protect trans people, including anti-discrimination training for security forces and state collection of data on violence against LGBTQ+ people.”

“Several indications of the participation of state agents” in Vicky’s death

The article adds: “Hernández was killed on the first night of the June 2009 coup d’état, in which the Honduran military ousted President Manuel Zelaya and enforced night-time curfews across the country.”

“Hernández, who relied on sex work to survive, had been on the streets with two other trans women when they saw a police car coming towards them. Fearing violence, they ran in different directions. The next morning, Hernández was found dead.”

“Lawyers working on Hernández’s case argued that state agents actually committed the murder. …The court ruling, which ordered Honduras to restart its investigation into Hernández’s death, found ‘several indications of the participation of state agents.’”

Gender Identity Act

The Guardian also noted: “[The IACHR] ruled that the state must allow people to alter their gender identity on identification documents and public records.”

The Brussels-based International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association explains in its Trans Legal Mapping Report that in Honduras it’s “not possible” to change your name and that it’s “forbidden by law to make any modification of the sex assigned in the original birth certificate.”

On July 21, Arcoiris posted: “A work meeting was held today to assess the actions in the National Register of Persons, conducted by the Colectiva de Mujeres Trans Muñecas de Arcoiris [the Collective of Rainbow Trans Dolls], with the support of the Asociación Somos CDC and Futbo Litos.”

PBI-Honduras accompanied that meeting.

PBI-Honduras accompanies Arcoiris

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.”

The Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project has accompanied Arcoíris, the LGTB Association of Honduras, since July 2015.

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