A 27 year old Honduran LGBT activist who protested against military forces who he said had incited violence and intolerance against LGBT people has been assassinated in a drive-by shooting.
Walter Trochez was gunned down as he walked in the streets of Tegucigalpa on Sunday evening and later died in hospital. The activist had opposed the forces behind a recent military coup in the country; the same forces he accused of promoting homophobic crime.
Earlier this month he had been kidnapped and beaten by a group of masked men and was apparently told that he would be killed if he continued with his activism against the military government.
In an open letter written on November 16, Trochez said that “Once again we say it is NOT ACCEPTABLE that in these past 4 months, during such a short period, 9 transsexual and gay friends were violently killed, 6 in San Pedro Sula and 3 in Tegucigalpa.”
He added prophetically, “As a revolutionary, I will always defend my people, even if it takes my life.”
Although it is suspected that the murderers were members of the state security forces, police have promised to investigate the murder thoroughly.
President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a military coup led by former congressional leader Roberto Micheletti, who is now the interim President, on June 28. The government has been accused of human rights abuses and the brutal repression of those opposed to the coup.