Sr. Juan Orlando Hernández
President of Honduras
Óscar Fernando Banegas
Attorney General of Honduras
We are deeply troubled at the assassination attempts against LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) rights advocates Juan José Zambrano and Jlo Córdoba.
Juan José Zambrano is a member of the Association for a Better Life for People Infected with and Affected by HIV/AIDS in Honduras (APUVIMEH) which works with the LGBTI community and those affected by HIV/AIDS. It operates Casa Renacer, a shelter for people with HIV/AIDS and those of the LGBTI community. It operates several other projects, including a program for prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexual infections, and a gay youth project.
On March 20 a group of unidentified men kidnapped Juan José Zambrano in Tegucigalpa. Before they released him that day they threatened him and warned him to cease his human rights work. On March 24 his family sent him to La Ceiba in Atlántida Department where they thought he would be safer. That same day a group of unidentified men fired on him several times in La Ceiba. He was wounded in the genital area, lost a great deal of blood and was left for dead. He was then treated at a hospital in Tegucigalpa.
Jlo Córdoba, a transgender woman, is a member of LGBT Rainbow Association (LGTB Arcoíris), an organization which works on equality and justice for the LGBTI community. On March 29, at approximately 8pm an unidentified man approached her in the Central District in Tegucigalpa and fired at her twice, wounding her in the hand and in the chest.
Since June 2015 six LGTBI rights defenders have been killed (cf our letters of Sep 24 and Oct 15, 2015). Because of our deep concern about the extreme levels of violence that continue to face all LGTBI persons and their defenders, we strongly urge that you
- carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the attempted killings of Juan José Zambrano and Jlo Córdoba, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice;
- take all necessary measures, in consultation with the individuals or their representatives, to guarantee the security of Juan José Zambrano, Jlo Córdoba and all members of APUVIMEH and Asociación LGTB Arcoíris;
- guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.
Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker Martínez