‘Warrior’ trans rights activist Thalía Rodríguez shot dead on her doorstep in Honduras

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Thalía Rodríguez, a trans woman and “warrior” trans rights activist, has been shot dead outside her home in Honduras.

According to Reportar Sin Miedo, Rodríguez, the 45-year-old leader of the trans rights group Asociación Cozumel Trans, was shot multiple times in the head in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, on Monday (10 January).

She was accompanied by a man, who survived but was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.

JLo Córdova of Muñecas de Arcoíris, another trans rights group in Honduras, said on a statement on the murder of Rodríguez: “Thalía for many years had been fighting to ensure the trans community in Honduras would have rights.

“She was a warrior because she always fought for our rights. We condemn and repudiate her murder.

“No more hate crimes against our community. We are outraged by this vile murder.”

In a statement, the Honduran LGBT+ rights group Cattrachas said: “Thalía was a trans woman who dedicated more than 20 years to the defence of human rights… Thalía was fighting for a Honduras without discrimination against LGBT+ people and people living with HIV.”

Rodríguez’s death marks the first reported murder of a queer person in Honduras this year, but 402 trans people have been violently killed since 2009, according to Cattrachas.

The number of murders has been counted since the death of Vicky Hernández, a 26-year-old trans woman who was killed in the city of San Pedro Sula, during a US-backed coup to overthrow left-wing president Manuel Zelaya. She was killed by “public safety” forces because she was outside during a curfew.

Last year, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the Honduran government to continue its investigation, to admit its role in Hernández’s death and to pay $30,000 in reparations to her family.

It also ruled that a scholarship fund for trans women should also be set up in Hernández’s name, and that the government must begin legally recognising trans people.

But Cattrachas insists that not much has changed since the ruling.

“Murders of LGBT+ people are not investigated by the authorities and as a consequence, most of the cases go completely unpunished,” the group said.

“Honduras is a hostile and dangerous country for LGBT+ people and the government has not done enough to face this reality.”

The LGBT+ advocacy organisation set out a list of demands in the wake of Rodríguez’s death.

It said: “We demand that the Public Prosecutor’s Office investigate the facts and make all the necessary efforts to identify the person responsible for the crime. Thalía Rodríguez’s murder cannot go unpunished.

“We demand that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asks the state of Honduras to investigate and punish those responsible for the murder of Thalía Rodríguez.

“We demand that the ruling of the the Inter-American Court of Human Rights against Honduras in the Vicky Hernández case be complied with, especially in providing protection to the country’s LGBT+ people.

“We demand that the new president, Xiomara Castro, speak out on the murder of Thalía Rodríguez, and show her commitment to building a more inclusive Honduras.

“We demand truth, justice and reparation for Thalía Rodríguez.”

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