[WHRD Alert] HONDURAS / Assassination of Soraya Álvarez Portillo, Trans Defender and Member of Rainbow Dolls Collective

On Friday September 22nd, the body of Soraya Álvarez was found near the Choluteca River when nearby police agents identified a man who was about to throw the defender’s body into the river. The National Police captured the man on the First Avenue of Comayagüela.

Soraya Álvarez Portillo, a 32-year-old member of the Trans collective, Rainbow Dolls, was an experienced activist who had received political training as a women rights defender from the time she was very young. In 2016, she was a victim of police aggression, for which she received protective measures from the National Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. These measures, however, were withdrawn, leaving her in a state of higher risk and vulnerability.

JLo Córdova, a companion of Soraya and fellow member of Rainbow Dolls, stated that in the last two years, the group has registered the murders of 135 members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

We of the National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders in Honduras and IM-Defensoras stand in solidarity with the family, Soraya’s companions in the Rainbow Dolls collective, and the LGBTIQ+ communities of Honduras.

We hereby express our repudiation of this assassination and demand that the Honduran government conduct a prompt, impartial investigation to fully clarify the facts of the case. 

And lastly, given the wave of murders and hate crimes against LGBTIQ+ persons now underway in the country, we call on authorities at all levels of government to adopt timely and effective measures to put an end to impunity for the crimes, guarantee protection for these communities, and recognize the work of persons and organizations who are defending their rights.  

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