The Agenda

LGBTQ activist slain in Honduras

At 2 a.m. early Sunday morning, 49 members of our community were senselessly murdered by a lone gunman during Latin night at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and 53 others were injured. Tragically, Orlando is only the latest event in which LGBTI people have been the targets of horrific violence. Just last week, prominent LGBTI and human rights activist Rene Martinez was tortured and murdered in Honduras. A member of Honduras’s National Party, Rene tirelessly promoted the equality and humanity of LGBTI people.     
While authorities in Honduras haven’t discussed possible motivations for the brutal murder, at least four people are being held in connection with the crime. Murders of LGBTI people in Honduras are tragically common, with the lesbian rights group Cattrachas estimating that 227 LGBTI people have been killed since 2009.
Martinez was set to attend a campaign training for LGBTQ leaders in Central America, organized by Victory in partnership with SOMOS CDC, but he never showed up. His body was found on June 3.
Victory’s Director of International Programs, Luis Abolafia Anguita, led a mourning session with trainees, and one by one, each of them committed to continue Martinez’s struggle for equality.  There was a common message: Attacks against LGBTQ people won’t silence us and won’t stop our work to achieve full equality.