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Gender & Sexual Solidarity: News & Updates
January 14, 2020
War and militarism’s impact on women and girls; rape as a war crime; military sexual trauma; why permitting or requiring women to serve in combat is not a feminist act; and how women have been part of peace movements throughout history.
December 24, 2019
We are dismayed to learn that Lisiania Zelaya, lawyer, artist and member of the Amorales Collectve, has been convicted of slander against Ricardo Mendoza and fined US$ 2,027. Since 2016, artists of Amorales have denounced Ricardo Mendoza, a professor at the School of Drama at UES, whom they accuse of abusing his female students during rehearsals of theater productions. Abusive actions, which have been condemned by present and former students, include his asking them to take off their clothes for him. On May 27, members of the Amorales Collective received subpoenas from the Sixth Sentencing Court of San Salvador accusing them of slander and damage to Mendoza’s honor and personal reputation. The conviction of Lisiania Zelaya highlights the struggle of women against systematic, institutionalized violence.
November 28, 2019
Brighiit Mirón, a 15-year-old transgender teenager, was killed on November 9, 2019, with a bullet in the head in the Chipilapa neighborhood, in La Gomera, a municipality in the department of Escuintla in central-southern Guatemala, 47 kilometers from the city. In the report “Enough of trans genocide” by RedLactrans and Otrans in 2018, it indicates that 90% of the victims are Guatemalan trans women. The other 10% of the victims were trans women from other countries in the northern triangle of Central America, for whom the passage through the country has not been a guarantee of an improvement in their quality of life or of their protection.
November 21, 2019
At least four LGBT+ people have been killed in El Salvador in the last month. The latest victim, Oscar Canenguez, a gay man, found dead on Sunday (Nov 17). In a statement, the U.N. called on Salvadorean authorities "to investigate these crimes so that they might punish the perpetrators ... and take urgent measures to prevent further acts of violence ... against the LGBTI community."
November 13, 2019
Building a more just society takes more than political and social activism; it also involves encouraging businesses to see the economic potential of the LGBT community. That was one of the key takeaways from the fifth annual WeTrade Fair hosted by the Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce (CCLGBTCO). CCLGBTCO,a private non-profit organization, aims to support businesses in strengthening their internal and external LGBT diversity and inclusion programs. The WeTrade Fair, which billed itself as “the LGBT+ Fair in Latin America,” hosted over 20 large businesses that either specifically cater to an LGBT+ population or that are looking to expand their customer base to a more diverse audience.
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.