Press Release

IACHR Deeply Concerned about Murders of Members of Transgender Community in Honduras

January 20, 2011

Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is deeply concerned about serious threats, acts of violence and murders against members of the transgender community in Honduras.

The Commission has received information about threats and actions against the integrity and life of several members of that community. In the last two months, seven transgender persons have allegedly died in circumstances that have not been fully investigated: Idania Roberta Sevilla Raudales (November 29, 2010); Luisa Alex Alvarado (December 18, 2010); Oscar Martínez Salgado; (December 20, 2010); Reana Bustamante (December 29, 2010) ; the youth Cheo (not identified; January 2, 2011); Génesis Briget Makaligton (January 7, 2011); and Fergie Alice Ferg (or Williams Afif Hernández, January 18, 2011).

In its report Honduras: Human Rights and Coup d’État, the Commission found that discrimination against members of the community of lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI) has increased. On January 29, 2010 the Commission adopted precautionary measures in favor of several members of that community and of the organization Catrachas, due to threats and attacks against them. The recent murders bring the number of reported violent deaths to 34 members of the LGBTI community since June 2009 and, in particular, of leaders Neraldys Perdomo and Imperia Gamaniel Parson, of the Organization Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa, and Walter Trochez.

The IACHR calls upon the State of Honduras to prevent acts of discrimination and violence against members of the LGBTI community, and to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible and redress promptly and diligently the violations.

Impunity constitutes non-compliance with the State’s duties, it is harmful to the victim, his or her next of kin and society as a whole, it fosters recidivism of human rights violations, and it creates total defenselessness of victims and their relatives. Therefore, the State carries the international obligation to prevent human rights violations; should they occur, the State has an obligation to investigate them and prosecute and punish those responsible.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 4/11