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Honduras, 1/14/2021

Óscar Fernando Chinchilla Banegas, Attorney General of Honduras

Lica. Karla Cueva, Secretary of State for Human Rights Affairs

Dear Attorney General Chinchilla and Secretary Cueva:

We are outraged over the mistreatment and threats to the life of José Zambrano, a founding member of the Association for a Better Life for People Infected and Affected by HIV/AIDS in Honduras (APUVIMEH) and the Casa (refuge) Renacer.

José Zambrano, who has dedicated four decades to defending the human rights of both the LGTBI community and the Honduran people in general, has been the target of innumerable threats that have put his life at serious risk. On December 22 he received the Franco-German Award for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.  The very next day, on December 23, unknown persons set his house on fire. He had to flee with three members of his family. When they reached the house where they took shelter, unknown individuals sent him death threats.

These facts show the hatred against the LGTBI community and those persons who visibly defend their basic human rights. We believe the intention of their opponents is to remove any defenders of this highly repressed and discriminated-against community so that they do not continue their fundamental work.

We strongly urge that you

-investigate those responsible for setting fire to José Zambrano’s house and threatening his life, publish the results, and bring those responsible to justice

-ensure the right of human rights activists to carry out their work for justice in safety, under protection of the law.


Brian J. Stefan Szittai        and        Christine Stonebraker-Martinez            



Dr. Roberto Herrera Cáceres, National Commissioner for Human Rights of Honduras (CONADEH) ~ via email
Luis Suazo Barahona, Ambassador of Honduras to the US ~ via email and US mail
Joel Hernández, Rapporteur for Honduras, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email and US mail
Flávia Piovesan, Rapporteur on the Rights of LGTBI Persons, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email and US mail
Isabel Albaladejo Escribano, Representative to Honduras of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OACNUDH) ~ via email
HSN: Honduras Solidarity Network ~ via email
Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective – Honduras Team ~ via email
US Embassy in Honduras: Colleen Hoey, Chargé d’Affaires; Nate Rettenmayer, Political Officer ~ via email
Honduras Desk, US State Dept ~ via email
US Senators Brown & Portman ~ via email
US Representatives Beatty, Fudge, Gibbs, González, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan  ~ via email