Sunday, September 16, 2012

Honduran Vigil for Walter Tochez;
Still No Arrest in Gay Activist's Slaying

(Headline: Gays demand respect for life. Caption: On the steps of the where the Public Prosecutor’s office is located, justice is demanded for crimes against gays, Sept 13. Name of the publication was not provided.)

This evening, I learned about an on-going monthly public vigil in Honduras demanding justice in the slayings of dozens of queer people and political leaders. What came my way is shared below and should be spread far and wide. The bravery of those who attend the vigils, in the face of violent suppression of democracy and gay liberation, is quite amazing and the least we can do is read about the latest vigil and offer solidarity to queer Hondurans and their allies.

With the third anniversary of the murder of Walter Trochez rapidly approaching, and to bring visible street solidarity to the APUVIMEH vigils, I am committing Gays Without Borders to a organize on December 13 a vigil at the Honduran consulate at Market and Powell Streets in San Francisco.

I will suggest to the global Honduran solidarity movement and gays everywhere, to consider staging their own local actions on December 13. Let me know if you or your group is interested in making December 13 a day of international street solidarity with the gays and democracy advocates of Honduras.

Here's the info I received tonight:

Hello Everyone – Attached is the press statement issued by the Honduran LGBTI organization APUVIMEH at Thursday’s (13 Sept 2012) monthly protest on the steps of the Public Prosecutor’s office in Tegucigalpa. This monthly demonstration seeks the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment for the assassins of LGBT leader Walter Trochez, pictured, killed on 13 Dec 2009, and the many other LGBT Hondurans that have been killed since the coup. The Movimiento de Diversidad en Resistencia (MDR) requested that this statement be circulated as widely as possible.

Gary L. Cozette,
Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America & Honduras Solidarity Network member organization

José Antonio Zambrano
President of APUVIMEH
Asociacion Para Una Vida Mejor Honduras

September is the month in many Central American countries of where political “Independence” from Spain is celebrated. In our county, Honduras, it is important to communicate to the world - and to organizations in solidarity with the LGBTI community - that Honduran society throughout its history has consigned us to a place where our human rights are violated in the most deplorable ways.

We now demand our rights from the Honduran state, the most essential of which are freedom of association, health, freedom of expression, education, employment, and especially the right to life.

We have been killed in the most brutal and inhuman ways, in extreme ways that have never before been experienced by our community – so much so that is has impacted the very heart of our organizations. In the north of Honduras we now count 82 murders (2009-2012). As such, trans, gay men, lesbians, their families, and organizations in the defense of human rights have come together to denounce impunity for these killings.

The President of the Republic, Porfirio Lobo, himself admits that none of those responsible for these murders have been put in prison. For these reasons, we come to demand justice on the 13th of each month which is the anniversary - and today it has been 2 years and 9 months – of the assassination of our companion Walter Orlando Trochez, who was Secretary of APUVIMEH, a leader of the LGBTI community, an activist among persons with HIV, and a human rights defender. 

We demand justice regarding those responsible for this vile assassination on 13 December 2009, in the very center of Tegucigalpa.

As an LGBTTI community, we say that justice is not only a privilege for elite sectors of society, where justice on one’s behalf is reached because action is taken and adequate time is devoted for investigation.

We call out to the Public Ministry, since we believe that our voice and call has not been heard. We will not be silenced until impunity is no longer the rule. We will continue in the hope for justice and respect for human rights to prevail, especially for the LGBTI community in Honduras.

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