Sr. Juan Orlando Hernández, President of Honduras
Sr. Óscar Fernando Chinchilla Banegas, Attorney General of Honduras
July 16, 2017
We are horrified and angry at the attempted murder in Tegucigalpa of David Valle, an LGBTI rights defender. On July 10, around 10pm, as he was about to enter his house, someone called to him from the gate. When he opened the gate, an unidentified assailant attacked him for about 10 minutes, stabbing him several times, and then fleeing with David Valle’s cellphone, house keys and car keys. Three hours later when David Valle’s housemate returned, he was taken to a hospital to recover from serious injuries.
On April 27, David Valle and Alex Sorto, Executive Director of Center for LGBTI Development and Cooperation (an advocacy group known by the acronym SOMOS CDC), requested protection measures from the Honduran Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders because of threats and harassment they were experiencing in connection with their work in defense of LGBTI rights. However, the Protection Mechanism did not implement protection measures to safeguard their lives.
This is the tenth letter we have written to Honduran authorities since the beginning of 2015 about the increasing violence against LGBTI rights defenders. According to Grupo de Mujeres Transexuales–Muñecas de Arcoíris (Transsexual Women’s Group–Rainbow’s Dolls), since 1994 there have been 269 killings of LGBTI people in Honduras. However, the precise number is impossible to determine because of social stigma that results in families and public institutions often refraining from acknowledging or documenting that victims’ killings were motivated by their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Because of our serious concern about the climate of extreme violence that LGBTI rights defenders continue to face, we strongly urge that you
- carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the attempted killing of David Valle, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice
- take all necessary measures, in consultation with the LGBTI rights defenders or their representatives, to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of David Valle, other members of SOMOS CDC, and all other LGBTI rights defenders at risk
- 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