Press Release

Office of the Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Expression, the Rapporteurship on Human Rights Defenders and the Unit for the Rights of Persons LGTBI Condemn Murder of Journalist and LGTBI Activist in Honduras

May 11, 2012

Washington, D.C. – The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, the Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the Unit for the rights of persons LGBTI of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemn the murder of Eric Alex Martínez Ávila, a journalist and defender of the rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual population, who went missing on May 5th and was found dead two days later.

According to the information received, on May 7th, members of the community of Guasculile found the body of a young man that was later identified as belonging to Martínez Ávila alongside a highway between the cities of Olancho and Tegucigalpa.

Eric Alex Martínez Ávila worked in the area of public relations, monitoring and evaluation at the Kukulcán Association, an organization dedicated to defending the rights of lesbians, gays, and transsexual and bisexual persons. He was recently named as a candidate for local primary elections of the Libertad y Refundación party, and he was an active member of the Roundtable for Sexual Diversity of the National Resistance Front.

In its Second Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Americas, the IACHR highlighted the vast amount of information received regarding murders, threats, and criminalization of the activities of defenders of the LGBTI community, as well as the lack of a gender-sensitive approach to the investigation of human rights violations. Also, in the report Honduras: Human Rights and Coup d'Etat , the IACHR noted the deepening of discrimination and risk situation against members of lesbians, gays, and bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Honduras. The IACHR urges the Honduran State to investigate this crime in a thorough, timely and diligent manner, without discarding the possibility that the homicide may be related to the exercise of the victim’s profession.

For the IACHR it is of fundamental importance that the Honduran State elucidate the cause of this crime, that it identify, prosecute and sanction the responsible parties, and that it adopt measures to guarantee that the perpetrators provide just reparations to the victim’s family.

No. R 46/12