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Gender & Sexual Solidarity: News & Updates

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LGBTQ+ people in Central America are often at heightened risk of violence and discrimination, and thousands have fled their home countries in search of international protection. While the United States remains a major destination for displaced LGBTQ+ people, increasingly, more and more LGBTQ+ people on the move are heading to countries within the region to seek protection. Protection systems in the region are improving but need strengthening. LGBTQ+-led organizations in Central America are often leaders in these systems, providing protection, support, and advocacy for and on behalf of LGBTQ+ people in their countries of origin, while on the move, and in their destination countries. In the Fall of 2021, Refugees International and IRCA CASABIERTA, a Costa Rica-based NGO that is led by and provides services to LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees, conducted fifteen consultation meetings with Central American NGOs in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama that are led by and provide services to LGBTQ+ people. The meetings aimed to discuss the challenges that LGBTQ+-led organizations face in their respective countries in providing services to LGBTQ+ people.

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Women have been at the forefront of struggle in Honduras throughout its history, from fighting dictatorships to challenging political corruption to seeking civil improvements such as gender parity in politics and education. The recent presidential election of Xiomara Castro Sarmiento Zelaya of the Libertad and Refundación (Libre) party has exhilarated women from various sectors and in the diaspora. And as the first woman president, In her campaign and platform, Castro embraced gender rights and sought to address femicides and structural violence against women and LGBTI communities—issues ignored in previous campaigns. But the most far-reaching policy for women is Castro’s support of the right to sexual and reproductive rights. Now, 67 years after women won the right to vote, Xiomara Castro is promising to be a president of the people and to restore Honduras’s constitutionality and rule of law. It promises to be a new era for women, of all races and ethnicities, and LGBTI communities.

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Review of the Year 2021 The past year was a challenging year for FOR Peace Presence and Colombia. Let's look back on the year together.

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Thalía, Amelian y Lucía son mujeres de distintas realidades, pero se enfrentan a la discriminación y falta de oportunidades tanto laborales como integrales. Ellas luchan día a día por la subsistencia. Mientras tanto, el Estado de Honduras ignora las sentencias de la Corte Interamericana de los Derechos Humanos que mandan el reconocimiento de la ley de identidad de género para permitir a las personas trans adecuar sus datos de identidad, algo determinante para mejorar su calidad de vida. “¿Realmente quién es el protagonista de todos los daños que nos hacen a la comunidad de mujeres trans?”, pregunta Thalía. “Es el mismo Estado”, se contesta. “Quien dice que vela y protege es el que nos mata, el que nos lastima”....Las mujeres trans sufren violencia en muchos de los ámbitos donde se desempeñan. Según el estudio del Centro de Documentación y Situación Trans de América Latina y El Caribe (CeDosTALC), las víctimas trans de vulneraciones de derechos humanos en Honduras son en su mayoría trabajadoras sexuales, el 42% del total. El 34% son trabajadoras formales, el 5% son activistas y el 7% trabajadoras informales.
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It seems there was only one topic this month, the general elections. In the weeks running up to November 28, fear grew ever stronger of a repeat of 2017. A record number of candidates and their family members had been murdered. The JOH regime started an unprecedented vote-buying campaign handing out 7000 Lempiras to over 100’000 families. Days before the election, the new ID needed to vote had still not been distributed to everyone. And it was unclear if the new electoral bodies were up to the task as the National Party tried to undermine them all along the way. On election day, reports of voting centers opening late, long lines, more vote-buying and intimidation of voters further compounded the fear of another electoral fraud. The National Party also seemed to believe in its own capacity to steal elections and announced their victory already by mid-day. But then everything changed as the first results were published. Hondurans went to the polls in higher numbers than feared (participation is estimated at around 69%) and the opposition candidate Xiomara Castro led with 53.55% over Nasry Asfura's 33.87% with 46.5% of votes counted. In the remaining days of November, her victory was recognized by all other parties and even JOH himself. While the fight about the new configuration of Congress will be fought in December, it seems not too optimistic to say: Welcome to a new month in Honduras. In solidarity, Daniel Langmeier Honduras Forum Switzerland.
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Thank you to the more than 120 people who attended the IRTF annual Commemoration of the Martyrs online on Sunday, November 7. You helped to create a beautiful and moving tribute to human rights defenders throughout southern Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. Here you will find links to (1) Commemoration program book 2021, (2) Zoom recording of the event, (3) Facebook livestream recording, (4) playlist from the social hour, (5) an additional play list, (6) how you can add your name to urgent human rights letters, (7) donations for the Honduras support fund, (8) IRTF Legacy Circle planned giving fund, and (9) highlights from the speakers' presentations. Thank you!

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