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Walter Trochez

December 14, 2009

I woke up this morning to the tragic news that one of our AGALI program fellows, Walter Trochez, was gunned down in the street last night in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Walter was a passionate LGBT activist and an outspoken critic of the coup and the Honduran regime. He was only 27 years old.

Walter was killed for the most brutish of reasons: the will to power at any cost, and the fear of dissent. He had already been offered an asylum arrangement by the government that would have allowed him to leave the country in exchange for his silence. Just ten days ago he was beaten by the police as they attempted to kidnap him. He fought back and somehow managed to escape.

Walter and I became friends earlier this fall over email and phone, as I tried to arrange transportation for him and other participants from Honduras to our training in Antigua, Guatemala. A 24 hour curfew had just been put in place by the government in response to mass protests. Although the borders had effectively been sealed, after two days of trying everything we could think of, we managed to get Walter and four others out of Honduras by bus. Walter took charge of the group, working to find a solution that would allow them to participate in AGALI, and maintaining a sense of humor under impossible circumstances.

When I finally got to know him in person, I was humbled by his dedication to the intimately connected causes of gay rights and human rights.  Today, I can’t help thinking about the costs of that kind of dedication.

Walter (center) celebrating the end of a week of advocacy training in September, with me and Guillermo Leverman, a participant from Guatemala.

Walter after being attacked and beaten by the police

Not surprisingly, I can’t find any mention of Walter’s death on any of the major Honduran news sites. Slightly more information, in Spanish, is here:

http://silviatostado.blogspot.com/2009/12/asesinan-un-activista-lgbt-en-honduras.html

Walter is not the first human rights activist to be killed or disappeared by the regime in Honduras. Please do your part to spread the truth about what’s happening there, so that we can at least have hope that he will be the last.

UPDATE: Posts about Walter are starting to appear in English. Amnesty International released this:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/honduras-full-and-prompt-investigation-needed-death-human-rights-campaig

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Kunal permalink
    December 14, 2009 11:48 pm

    this is some difficult stuff.

  2. Jean permalink
    December 15, 2009 10:31 pm

    I’m so very very sorry.

  3. December 16, 2009 2:04 am

    Speechless. I’m so sorry.

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