Journalist Santi Carvajal is one of three transgender women who have been murdered in Honduras over the last week. La Tribuna, a Honduran newspaper, reported Santi Carvajal was shot in Puerto Cortés on the country’s Caribbean coast on July 6. Carvajal’s relatives told the newspaper she died at a hospital in the nearby city of San Pedro Sula.
Carvajal hosted “La Galaxia de Santi,” a program that aired on a Puerto Cortés television station.
Santi was shot while walking through the streets of Puerto Cortés, located in northern Honduras. The events occurred on Saturday, July 6, 2019. Santi was heading to the television channel when she was attacked by unknown persons. The victim was transferred to a local hospital thanks to the intervention of those present; however, due to the severity of her injuries, she was transferred to the Mario Catarino Rivas hospital, where she lost her life.
On several previous occasions, Santi had received death threats for the content of her programme, although the authorities do not rule out the possibility that it was a hate crime. Unfortunately, and as in most cases of killings of LGBTI+ people in Honduras, the whereabouts of those responsible for the crime is unknown.
Violence based on gender identity remains commonplace in Honduras, which has one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates.
Activists in the Central American country say members of Honduras’ National Police and the Honduran military among those who target trans women. Violence, along with discrimination and poverty, has prompted many trans Hondurans to migrate to the U.S. and Mexico over the last two years.
Erick Martínez, a prominent Honduran activist who lives in Tegucigalpa, said Carvajal may have been targeted because she was a trans woman and a journalist.
“People like her already have an implicit vulnerability because they are a transsexual woman,” said Martínez. “But this risk increases when you are known as a social communicator or journalist: Both profiles are high risk in Honduras.”