US Congressmen have called for action on the violence suffered by the LGBT community in Honduras.
In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, over 80 US congressional Democrats expressed ‘concern about the recent increase in violence’ against the gay, bi and trans communities in the Central American country.
According to human rights organizations in Honduras, over 70 LGBT individuals have been murdered since the 2009 coup d’etat when the Honduran army ousted President Manuel Zelaya.
The congressmen emphasize that many of these cases have not been effectively investigated or resolved.
These include the recent murder of LGBT leader and journalist Erick Martinez, a radio journalist and the first ever openly gay candidate to run for Congress in Honduras, and the 2009 murder of LGBT coup resistance leader Walter Trochez.
The Congressional letter also requests the outcomes of the 10 cases that have been closed through the US assisted Special Victims Unit in Honduras.
The letter cites findings from the State Department’s 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices that Honduran law enforcement has been complicit in human rights abuses, and that police officers had targeted LGBT people.
According to UN figures, Honduras has the world’s highest murder rate: 86 per 100,000 inhabitants.
‘Given the level of US support and assistance for the Honduran government,’ read the letter, ‘It is vital that we ensure they protect the human rights of all their citizens, especially vulnerable populations like the LGBT community’.
Initial signers of the letter include Equality Caucus co-chairs, Congress’s four openly gay members: Jared Polis, David Cicilline, Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank.