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UA 012/11
Honduras
Abgeschlossen am 2. März 2011

Honduran human rights defender at risk

AI-Index: AMR 37/002/2011

Human rights defender Alexander David Sánchez Álvarez was threatened by unknown individuals using pistols on two occasions in the last week. Amnesty International believes that he has been targeted because of his human rights work on behalf of LGBT persons, and that his life is at risk.

On 14 January Alex David Sánchez Álvarez, a nurse and LGBT rights activist was standing with fellow LGBT activists outside the office of the Colectivo Violeta, an LGBT organisation, when a white car with the number plate PCC1964 pulled up. A man got out and walked towards Alex and took out a pistol. He pointed the pistol at Alex and his friend and said “Ustedes nos faltan” (“You are the ones we are missing”). They reported the incident to the local police.

On 19 January, Alex David Sánchez Álvarez was walking to work at the Centro de Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación de las Víctimas de la Tortura y sus Familiares (Centre for the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and their Families, CPTRT) where he works as a nurse. As he crossed the road just two and half blocks away from the office a motorbike pulled up with two men on the back of it. As they drove past, one of the men struck Alex across the face with a pistol, leaving a mark just below his right eye. The two men then drove off at speed. Alex reported the incident to the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights the same day. No protection has been offered to Alex, despite concerns for his safety.

Alex David Sánchez Álvarez has been very active in the LGBT community, working and volunteering for a number of LGBT and human rights organisations. He has also participated in protests against the coup d’etat of 28 June 2009.

According to local organisations, since 7 January alone, 3 persons belonging to the LGBT community have been killed. The murders of at least 11 LGBT persons were documented by Honduran NGOs last year. On 20 January 2011, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) stated it is “deeply concerned about serious threats, acts of violence and murders against members of the transgender community in Honduras, in particular the rising number of killings of members of the LGBT community”. In December 2009 LGBT activist Walter Trochez was murdered following repeated threats and surviving a previous attempt on his life.

Additional Information

Amnesty International in its 2010 report on Honduras highlighted the sharp rise in the number of killings of transgender women following the June 2009 coup. Between 2003 and March 2009, human rights organizations had registered 17 cases of killings of transgender women. Between the end of June and December 2009, 12 such cases were reported by local human rights organizations. No data was available at the time about investigations into these killings.

In a case documented by Amnesty International, in December 2009, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights activist Walter Trochez was murdered in Tegucigalpa. Nine days earlier, he had escaped after being abducted by several masked men demanding the names and addresses of members of the movement opposing the coup d’etat. His captors reportedly told him they had orders to kill him. The investigations on this case have not brought to indictments or convictions.

In April 2010, Amnesty expressed its concern on the situation of LGBT people in Honduras in its Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review – Ninth Session of the UPR Working Group of the Human Rights Council (AI Index: AMR 37/005/2010). The document is available at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR37/005/2010/en/79e58f10-220d-40ff-ab81-464b56aa439b/amr370052010en.pdf

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