Attempted murder of David Valle
On 10 July 2017, an unidentified assailant attacked LGBTI rights defender David Valle and stabbed him several times at his home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
David Valle is the Project Coordinator of Centro para la Cooperación y Desarollo LGBTI – SOMOS CDC (Centre for LGBTI Cooperation and Development), based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The organization promotes LGBTI rights in the country, developing cooperation programs which include aspects of sexual health, civil participationand human rights for the LGBTI population.
On 10 July 2017, around 10 pm, an unidentified assailant attacked LGBTI rights defender David Valle and stabbed him several times at his home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. As he was entering his house, someone called to him from the gate. David Valle opened the door and an unidentified man proceeded to attack him for roughly 10 minutes, stabbing him several times. The unidentified attacker fled the scene with the defender’s cellphone, house keys and car keys. Three hours later, the LGBTI rights defender’s housemate returned home and came to his aid. David Valle was taken to a hospital, where he is currently recovering from his wounds.
On 27 April 2017, David Valle and Alex Sorto, Executive Director of SOMOS CDC requested protection measures from the Honduran Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders due to threats and harassment that they were subjected to in connection with their work in defence of LGBTI rights. However, the mechanism did not implement protection measures to safeguard their lives.
LGTBI rights defenders in Honduras are being subjected to increasing levels of violence. Since 2015, several LGBTI rights defenders working in the country have been killed, including Sherlyn Montoya, Juan Carlos Cruz Andara, Angie Ferreira, Violeta Rivas, Gloria Carolina Hernández Vásquez (also known as Génesis Hernández), Jorge Alberto Castillo and Paola Barraza, with several more suffering physical assault, intimidation and threats.
In November 2016, Front Line Defenders reported on two assassination attempts against LGBTI rights defenders Dayanara Castillo and Jlo Córdoba in Honduras. Killings and violence against members of the LGBTI community in Honduras continue to occur in spite of the precautionary measures granted to many of them by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in 2013.
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. The precise number is impossible to determine due to social stigma, as families and public institutions often refrain from acknowledging or documenting that the killings were motivated by the sexual orientation or gender identity of the victims.
Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the attempted killing of David Valle, and expresses its serious concern at the climate of extreme violence that LGBTI rights defenders are facing in Honduras.
Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Honduras to:
1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the attempted killing of David Valle, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;
2. 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 as well as other LGBTI rights defenders at risk in Honduras;
3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Honduras are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.