Blanca Sarahí Izaguirre Lozano, National Commissioner for Human Rights of Honduras (CONADEH)
Rosa Seaman, Vice-Minister for Protection, Secretariat for Human Rights (SEDH)
February 25, 2022
Dear Commissioner Izaguirre and Vice-Minister Seaman:
We are deeply saddened to learn of the assassinations (on February 2 and 3) of Jonathan Gabriel Martínez, César Gustavo Zúñiga and María Fernanda Martínez. These members of the LGBTI community were killed on the heels of ongoing targeted killings of LBGTI people like Thalía Rodríguez, who became the 400th LGBTI person killed in Honduras since 2009 (cf our letter 26 January 2022).
Jonathan Martínez (31 years old) and César Zúñiga were a couple living in the Ticamaya sector of San Pedro Sula in Cortés Department. On February 2, men dressed as police entered the place of business owned and operated by Jonathan Martínez. They, along with German Nufio Hernández, a client of the business, were shot and killed on the spot. The following day, Maria Fernanda Martínez, (age 18, and known as “Fer”) was shot ten times after someone threw a stone at her head while she was standing in the doorway of her home in the colonia Bella Vista in La Libertad, Comayagua Department.
Rihanna Ferrera, director of the Conzumel Trans Human Rights Association, reported that each of these LGBTI victims was inflicted with at least 10 shots, indicating the hate, harrassment, and terror of these crimes towards the LGBTI community. This sort of terrorizing and the general impunity for crimes against this community forces displacement of Hondurans into self-exile outside of the country, whether or not they are welcome across borders, and makes them more vulnerable to abuse and death by forcing migration literally by the threat of gun.
Because of our concern of the odious assassinations of these LGBTI Hondurans on property that was their own to inhabit, and because of the wave of violence against this community and ongoing national impunity for these hate crimes, we call upon your humanity and integrity and urge you to take the following actions:
- carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the killings of Jonathan Gabriel Martínez, César Gustavo Zúñiga and María Fernanda Martínez to determine both the material and intellectual authors, implementing the use of thorough forensics by professionals in a transparent manner in compliance of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ ruling on the state’s culpability and failure to investigate crimes against members of the trans community.
- publicly condemn the killings of LGBTI Hondurans and show a commitment to a more inclusive Honduras by taking advantage of the offer of technical assistance made by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR/OACNUDH) .
Brian J. Stefan Szittai and Christine Stonebraker-Martinez
Luis Suazo Barahona, Ambassador of Honduras to the US ~ via email and US mail
Carlos Bernal Pulido, Rapporteur for Honduras, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email and US mail
Roberta Clarke, Rapporteur on the Rights of LGBTI 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
Alice Shackelford, UN Resident Coordinator in Honduras, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ~ via email
US Embassy in Honduras: Colleen Hoey, Chargé d’Affaires; Nate Rettenmayer, Political Officer; Ariel Jahner, Human Rights Officer ~ via email
US State Department: Molly Runyon, Honduras Desk Officer ~ via email
US Senators Brown & Portman ~ via email
US Representatives Beatty, Brown, Gibbs, González, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Ryan ~ via email
03 FEB 2022_ReportarSinMiedo_Honduras