Alex Blaze

Gay peace activist killed in Honduras

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 16, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: assassination, Honduras, Walter Trochez

Jessica Hoffmann posted a few weeks ago about LGBT folks getting treated worse as a result of the coup in Honduras. Now a prominent gay activist has been found dead. He was already targeted by police for speaking out against homophobic and transphobic violence that resulted from the coup:

25 year-old activist Walter Trochez was murdered Monday in Tegucigalpa. He was a gay rights advocate and a member of the National Front of Resistance against the Coup in Honduras.

Trochez, who had publicly reported the abuses of Roberto Micheletti's de facto regime was shot in Tegucigalpa's downtown. A few days before his death, he had been brutally beaten by officers of the dictatorship while they were interrogating him to extract information about the leaders of the peaceful resistance.

More after.

The activist had recently published an article exposing the de facto regime for its human rights violations. The article, titled "Increase in hate crimes and homophobia towards LGTB as a result of the civic-religious-military coup in Honduras", was about how what is currently going on in Honduras is a step backwards for the most inclusive processes that have been taking place in Latin America in the recent years.

"It is worth stating that the explicit support of the church in Honduras to the military coup of June 28, 2009 prevented holding a referendum organized by the legitimate constitutional government, while it put dictator Roberto Micheletti in power", reads the article. It also explains that homophobic hate crimes have increased since the coup, promoted by the Honduran church, with the complicity of the oppressing groups.

"Once again we say it is NOT ACCEPTABLE that in these past 4 months, during such a short period, 9 transexual and gay friends were violently killed, 6 in San Pedro Sula and 3 in Tegucigalpa", said the activist in his article, following several press releases of the gay, lesbian, transexual and bisexual community.

It is unacceptable, but this is what happens when the military takes over a government. Military culture, no matter where it exists, is based on violence and glorifies it as a means of achieving whatever goal it wants to attain. This is why the military, while necessary, is supposed to have less power in a democracy than the people do through their representatives (even if the US can't really seem to get that concept right).

Fortunately, the US hasn't recognized the military coup yet as the legitimate government of Honduras. From Jessica's earlier post:

Trans women in Honduras are being murdered at alarming rates by police and the military, and U.S. congressmembers are using shallow but sensational screens to avoid condemning a human-rights-violating dictatorship, and there is no way to resist those murders without resisting militarism, colonialism, neoliberal capitalism, etc., etc., etc. (No real way to resist anti-Semitism without resisting colonialism and militarism, either, contrary to certain bizarre, and horrifically dominant, narratives.)

Mendoza said it's an unusual moment for LGBT activists in Honduras in that they're participating, as LGBT activists, in a larger progressive movement--the movement in resistance to the coup. Social-justice groups of many kinds are struggling in coalition against the dictatorship that has taken power and that is brutally repressing already-marginalized communities, understanding together that every marginalized community is vulnerable to exploitation, violence, and other forms of oppression under an unjust regime. They're working together, on multiple fronts, simultaneously, to resist.

And they're asking people in the U.S. to urge our representatives in Congress not to acknowledge as legitimate a human-rights-violating dictatorship.

Indeed, one of the worst things the US can do is pretend like a government that overthrows the democratically elected leader of another country is legitimate.

An outspoken critic of the regime has been killed. While I'm completely not an expert on Honduras, how can a regime that maintains power by killing dissent be considered legit?


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This is a military coup by a violent dictatorship right in the US backyard. I agree with you Alex, that we should not recognize such a government and give it legitimacy.