European Parliament speaks out for LGBTI human rights defenders Honduras

In a resolution adopted today, the European Parliament has expressed its deep concern at the climate of extreme violence against LGBTI people and activists and called for measures to address the situation.

Honduran flagThe pattern of violence has significantly worsened after the 2009 coup d’état. Since then, 222 LGBTI people have been killed, amongst whom many rights defenders.

The latest in this string of killings was trans woman Paola Barraza, who was murdered on 24 January 2016. Paola was a member of Arcoiris‘ group of trans women known as Grupo Muñecas and member of Arcoiris’ board of directors for more than eight years.

The parliament further worries over the widespread impunity and highlights that 92 percent of the killings of LGBT people have not been properly investigated and remain unresolved (par J).

Accordingly, the Parliament calls for “immediate, thorough and impartial investigations into the killings of active members of different LGBTI human rights organisations” (par 5).

Furthermore, the parliament “emphasises the need to strengthen protection against discrimination and hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup and negotiator on the resolution, reacted: “Speaking out on LGBTI rights and being visible in Honduras often is like a death sentence. Today’s resolution tackled the situation for LGBTI rights defenders as well as indigenous and ecological rights defenders, who are all under severe threat.”

“We need to ensure that all human rights defenders can continue their legitimate work in a safe and secure way.”

Beatriz Becerra MEP, Member of the LGBTI Intergroup and negotiator on the resolution, added: “Honduras has one of the highest murder rates, and LGBTI people are especially at risk. A cocktail of machismo, corruption and impunity make a perfect breeding ground for violence against LGBTI people. In 2015 alone, 37 LGBT people, particularly activists, were killed.”

“These killings must stop. I call on the government to work on the acceptance of LGBTI people and to ensure that all human rights defenders will be provided with the necessary protection.”

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