Sherlyn Montoya

Source The Washington Blade

Transgender activist Sherlyn Montoya was found dead in a small alley in the Smith neighbourhood in the northern part of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa on April 4 2017. The body of Sherlyn Montoya, 29, was found was found by local residents wrapped in sacks and showed signs of strangulation.

Sherlyn  had been missing since midnight on April 2. Her disappearance was only reported on social media by Grupo de Mujeres Transexuales (Muñecas Arcoíris), an organization for which Montoya was a volunteer.

A number of Honduran LGBT advocacy groups — Asociación LGTB Arcoíris de Honduras, Grupo de Mujeres Transexuales (Muñecas Arcoíris), Grupo Lésbico Bisexual LITOS and Grupo de Hombres Transexuales (Muñecos Arcoíris) — in a press release publicly denounced attacks that continue to take place against Honduras’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex communities. The groups at the same time also denounced local authorities and the Honduran government for their lack of interest in revolving these cases.

“They not only took the life of a young woman who did not have a name, but also left behind an elderly mother and three nieces who she supported,” Asociación LGTB Arcoíris General Coordinator Donny Reyes told the Washington Blade. “Defending life is hard for someone who is an activist as we do it alone and alone with the burden of stigmatizing discrimination and hatred towards us.”

Members of the LGBTI community have been victims of homicides, harassment, abuse of power, death threats and interfamily violence in recent years, according to different human rights organizations.

“What is happening in Honduras still does not have a name; it is simply savagery in the extreme expression of evil and lack of respect for life,” said Reyes. “And this is based in three elements. 1) Religious fundamentalism in the name of God that comes from the pulpits and urges governments to discriminate and (promote) hate against LGTB people. 2) The press that contributes and promotes this hate and 3) Last but not least the state itself by not, at the very least, taking positive actions to punish all of those who commit these terrible crimes.”

LGBTI organizations in Honduras say that more than 240 people from the LGBTI community have been murdered since 2008. They say 95 percent of these cases have taken place with impunity.

Activists say Montoya’s case will become one more that will be added to list of murders that have happened in the country with impunity.


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Department/Province/State:Francisco Morazan



Date of Killing:01/04/2017

Previous Threats:Yes

Gender component to killing:Evidence of gender-based and/or sexual violence

Type of Work:NGO member

Organisation:Group of Women Transsexual

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights, ESC Rights

Sector Detail:LGBTI, Minority Rights, Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Women's Rights

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).