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LGBTQ Rights: News & Updates
October 29, 2019
U.S. immigration authorities apprehended 76,020 minors, most of them from Central America, traveling without their parents in the fiscal year that ended in September — 52 percent more than during the last fiscal year, according to United States Customs and Border Protection. Mexico, under pressure from the Trump administration, stepped up immigration enforcement and detained about 40,500 underage migrants traveling north without their parents in the same period. That's a total of 115,000.
‘There’s no asylum for anyone.’ LGBTQ, disabled asylum seekers cross border with Julián Castro, but not for long
October 7, 2019
Presidential candidate Julián Castro on Monday escorted a group of asylum seekers across the border bridge to his native Texas from Mexico, where they had been sent under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. Walking across the bridge with Castro were eight gay and lesbian asylum seekers from Cuba, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as a deaf Salvadoran woman and her three relatives. All had earlier tried to cross here with a lawyer after being returned to Mexico to await court hearings, and all had been sent back by U.S. Customs officers. Some had already waited four months. More than 50,000 asylum seekers have been sent to Mexico to await the outcome of their U.S. immigration court cases since the Migrant Protection Protocols, known as Remain in Mexico, began in January. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials initially said “vulnerable” migrants would be exempted from the program. But scores of LGBTQ, disabled and pregnant asylum seekers have still been returned to Mexico. Late last month, the Department of Homeland Security set up courts in large white tents next to the border bridges to Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo to hear Remain in Mexico cases. The department barred public access and has required migrants to show up before dawn for hearings. Some migrants said they were kidnapped while traveling in the dark to court last month. Others have left Mexico before their court hearings, returning home on free flights and buses south provided by the Mexican government and the United Nations-affiliated International Organization for Migration.
RRN Case Update
August 22, 2019
RRN case summaries at a glance
On behalf of our 190 Rapid Response Network members, IRTF volunteers write and send six letters each month to government officials in southern Mexico, Colombia, and Central America (with copies to officials in the US). Who is being targeted? indigenous and Afro-descendant leaders, labor organizers, LGBTI rights defenders, women’s rights defenders, journalists, environmental defenders, and others. By signing our names to these crucial letters, human rights crimes are brought to light, perpetrators are brought to justice and lives are spared. Our solidarity is more important than ever. Together, our voices do make a difference.
August 8, 2019
BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Four LGBT+ people are murdered every day in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to “alarming” new research released on Thursday by a regional network of gay rights groups.
At least 1,300 LGBT+ people have been murdered in the region in the past five years, with Colombia, Mexico and Honduras accounting for nearly 90 percent of all deaths, according to data collected by the network of 10 groups.
July 18, 2019
A lesbian couple has married in Ecuador in the first same-sex wedding since a landmark ruling last month by the country's highest court.
Michelle Avilés and Alexandra Chávez were wed Thursday at the civil registry office in the coastal city of Guayaquil. They say they will have a party to celebrate the occasion in November.
July 8, 2019
One of Colombia’s leading anti-corruption advocates is on her way to become the first gay mayor of the capital Bogota, according to multiple public opinion polls.
June 6, 2019
The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have complained to federal agencies about the treatment of gay and transgender detainees at the New Mexico facility where the Salvadoran woman was held.
The Other Americans: Guatemala, Influenced by the United States, Pursues Ultra-Conservative Family Law
May 22, 2019
The law openly defines a family as being made up of a “father and mother with children,” places all responsibility for sexual education on the parents, and defines sexual diversity as “incompatible with human biology.” The proposed definition of a family as a heterosexual couple has led to fears of discrimination against single-parent households. “The law will affect single mothers who have been abandoned or whose partners have migrated, or [single women who have] adopted a child,” Dávila says. “The law will mean that the state no longer recognizes [a single mother] as a family.” The United Nations’ High Commission on Human Rights called the law “regressive.”
April 19, 2019
Nicole García Aguilar was granted asylum in October but was held another seven months while ICE appealed
March 23, 2019
attacks against LGBTI rights leaders Andrea Ayala and Barbara Romero of ESMULES (Salvadoran Lesbian Women’s Space for Diversity) in San Salvador.