In the village of Guasculile, north of Honduras’ capital city of Tegucigalpa, a man was found dead — he was strangled.
Less than a year before his death, in 2011, the same Honduran man, LGBT activist and journalist, Erick Martínez Ávila wrote in a blog post, “The history of the LGTB community has been written with blood, bravery, and suffering.”
Ávila’s murder was one of almost 300 violent LGBT deaths reported over the last eight years in a country with just over nine million people, according to the LGBT human rights organization Amnesty International. More than half of those killed were gay men and almost a third were transgender people.
According to the report released by the Human Rights Watch in 2017, many more deaths go unreported. These deaths make Honduras among the seven most dangerous countries to be LGBT as well the world’s most treacherous place to be an environmental rights defender.
The violence spiked after 2009, when the country’s then–democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by his congressional opponents backed by the military. While international condemnation from the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the European Union came swiftly, Canada’s rebuke was effectively much milder as military aid was not cut off.