Sunday, January 24, 2010

SGN: US Meets Gay Hondurans
Over Walter Trochez Murder

In early December a young gay Honduran, Walter Trochez, was assassinated and no one has yet been arrested or charged with his murder. Honduras suffered a coup back in June and this coming week, President-elect Porfirio Lobo will be inaugurated as the country's new leader.

The Seattle Gay News ran a story by reporter Mike Andrew on January 22, updating readers on the latest efforts by the U.S. embassy in Honduras to have Trochez's murder properly and independently investigated. American diplomats are apparently also meeting with gay Honduran leaders.

From the SGN article:

The US State Department has called on the Honduran government to investigate the murder of Gay activist Walter Trochez, US Embassy officials in Tegucigalpa told SGN on January 13.

Speaking with SGN by phone on condition of anonymity, an embassy official said, "The United States believes a thorough investigation into the killing of Walter Trochez and an investigation by the de facto regime of all allegations of human rights violations are important steps to achieving the goal of a return to democratic order in Honduras." [...]

In an article published on November 16, 2009, Trochez named nine people murdered since the June 28 coup, most of them Transgender people. Other Honduran activists subsequently identified six more victims, again mostly Transgender.

Trochez was also an active member of the National Resistance Front opposing the coup, and it is widely believed in Honduras that he was assassinated by the regime. [...]

US embassy officials also revealed to the SGN that the US ambassador in Honduras has had frequent contacts with the Honduran LGBT community, both before and after the Trochez murder.

"Ambassador [Hugo] Llorens met on December 17 with members of the Gay community to express his concern about the killing of Mr. Trochez and the U.S. Embassy has expressed concern about the Trochez murder and other human rights violations to the special prosecutor for Human Rights and to the Honduran police," an embassy official said.

"Over the past several years, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa has maintained a strong and supportive dialogue with the Honduran LGBT community and on a number of occasions has discussed the community's concerns with the Honduran authorities," the official added. [...]

A new Honduran president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, was elected on November 29, 2009, and is due to take office on January 27. Zelaya and his supporters have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the election, but the US has indicated it will recognize the Lobo government. [...]

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