Our compañero in struggle
Walter Tróchez, a well-known, 25-year-old lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist and active member of the National Resistance Front in Honduras, was murdered December 13.
Tróchez had been arrested and beaten for his sexual orientation after participating in a march against the coup, and he had worked to uncover, document and expose homophobic killings and crimes committed by the forces behind the coup. He was being followed in the weeks before his murder by thugs believed to be members of the state security forces.
Two responses to Walter Tróchez's assassination--one from Center for the Investigation and Promotion of Human Rights in Honduras (known by its initials CIPRODEH), and a second from the Honduran youth organization Los Necios--are republished below from the Quotha Web site, a blog run by author Adrienne Pine.
ON DECEMBER 4, the human rights advocate Walter Tróchez, member of the LGBT community and active member of the Resistance Front was kidnapped and savagely beaten outside the "El Obelisco" Park in Comayaguela, by four hooded men who drove a gray pickup, without plates, presumably from the DNIC [national criminal investigation directorate] (as Walter announced publicly several months ago, a vehicle of similar description had been staking out his house, obligating him to move).
On that day, the kidnappers told him they knew him well, and they were going to kill him. They hooded him, insulted him and began to interrogate him about the resistance, asking for information about its leaders and its movements. At that time, he managed to escape alive, and the next day, he filed a complaint with national and international authorities.
Today, we have been informed that he has been assassinated by two gunshots just outside of Larach & Co. in the center of Tegucigalpa.
We denounce this deplorable act before all Hondurans and the international community; this death adds to the more than 10 deaths already suffered by the gay, lesbian, trans and bisexual community of Honduras and to the persecution, harassment and threats suffered by human rights defenders and organizations since June 28 under the coup regime.
We demand to the authorities that this crime not go unpunished, that an investigation be carried out, and that those responsible for it be uncovered.
We demand that the state of Honduras guarantee the physical integrity and life of those people involved in human rights work, that it respect and comply with treaties and international conventions that protect human rights defenders and the people in general.
We demand an end to the persecution, threats and harassment to which individuals, leaders and organizations who oppose and differ ideologically from the de facto regime are subjected.
To the family, colleagues and friends of Compañero Walter Tróchez
TODAY, WE face a very difficult aspect of the fight. Brutal repression has claimed another victim, and it is with great sorrow that we recognize a compañero will no longer be in the streets with us. Nonetheless, honoring someone so deserving is a necessary task, and as members of the Organización Política Los Necios (OPLN), we wish to honor our compañero, friend and companion Walter Tróchez.
We met Walter fighting; we quickly saw within him an indisputable leader in the defense of human rights. As a member of the gay, lesbian, trans and bisexual community, he became a leader in this struggle at the core of the resistance against the coup d'état, a struggle that for Honduran youth is paramount.
Recently, he felt directly the fury of irrationality, the reactionary stupidity of the obsolete structures of power that sadly exist today in Honduras. The repressive forces that serve the businessmen and kill Hondurans kidnapped him and warned him that he should shut up. Walter, as was to be expected, said no.
It was a relief to know that he bravely escaped from the grip of the beast, and it was heartwarming to see him again in the streets this past Friday, December 11, when the force of the resistance was felt in the streets. Of course, compañero Tróchez led the people's march.
Walter Tróchez was shot in cowardly betrayal this past December 13, giving his life for the people as real heroes do.
Writing these words is a complicated task, as it is hard to talk of our martyrs without striking a painful nerve. His example is our guide, pushing us forward, and we promise that like all of them, we will fight to construct a new society for which they maintained their fist held high until the last breath. As Necios, we remember Walter as a friend, we remember his presence at the celebration of our 10th anniversary, in which he, along with other compañeras and compañeros of the gay, lesbian, trans and bisexual community, was a cherished member.
Accordingly, the organization agrees:
1. To attend the funeral service of our friend Walter Tróchez
2. To deliver this letter of bereavement into the hands of his family, his organization and make this public knowledge.
3. Maintain the struggle, as part of the Resistencia Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado, along with our compañeros and compañeras of the gay, lesbian, trans and bisexual community.
4. Honor the memory of Walter Tróchez as an exceptional martyr and companion in the popular struggle, whose task is to construct an equal future for all, in which there exists no discrimination or abuses, where humanity is capable of leaving behind the fear, and where justice and happiness is the primary role of the state.
Por la memoria de Walter Tróchez, sinceramente,
Necios y Necias
First published at the Quotha Web site. Translated from Spanish by Adrienne Pine.