Case History: Paola Barraza
On 24 January 2016, human rights defender Ms Paola Barraza was assassinated by unknown attackers in front of her house in the neighbourhood of Lempira, in Comayaguela.
Paola Barraza, a trans woman, was a member of the board of directors of Asociación LGTB Arcoíris (LGTB Rainbow Association), an organisation which works for equality and equity for the lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex (LGTBI) community in Honduras.
On 24 January 2016, human rights defender Ms Paola Barraza was assassinated by unknown attackers in front of her house in the neighbourhood of Lempira, in Comayaguela. The human rights defender was at home when, at approximately 8pm, unknown persons knocked at her door and called her outside. When Paola Barraza answered the door she was fired upon five times. She was shot three times in the head and twice in the chest, and died at the scene as a result of her wounds. The killing was reported to the authorities charged with investigating crimes against members of the LGTBI community, however, as of 27 January 2016, no investigator had been assigned to the case.
Paola Barraza was previously attacked in connection with her LGTBI rights work on 15 August 2015. She was shot numerous times by unknown men in the vicinity of Asociación LGTB Arcoíris offices. She was seriously injured in the attack.
The Asociación LGTB Arcoíris has continued to operate in Honduras in spite of increasingly extreme levels of violence faced by LGTBI rights defenders. Between 23 June 2015 and 31 August 2015, three LGTBI rights defenders working in country were killed, with several more subjected to physical assault, intimidation and threats.