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An Unsolved Murder Leads to Victory for LGBTQ Community in Honduras

When Vicky Hernández was just 26, she was murdered on the streets of Honduras. There has never been any accountability for her death, until now.

Vicky was a transgender woman and activist. She was last seen running from a police car on the evening of the country’s 2009 military coup. Her death wasn’t fully investigated, and no one was ever charged. Vicky’s murder—and the way her case was simply dismissed—reflects a culture where violence and bias against LGBTQ people has historically been tolerated or even encouraged.

10 Years of Advocacy in the Pursuit of Justice

LGBTQ rights group Cattrachas, with the Fund’s support, took up the case, bringing it to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. For nearly a decade, they provided evidence of how systemic violence robbed LGBTQ people like Vicky of their lives, including six others in the days immediately after Vicky’s death. On the twelfth anniversary of her death, the court ruled that Honduras was responsible for Vicky’s murder and ordered to country to take steps toward change. But Cattrachas knew that this win wasn’t the end.

The group continued to follow up on the case and advocate with the government. In May 2022, Cattrachas founder Indyra Mendoza was in the room as Honduras President Xiomara Castro formally recognized the state’s responsibility for Vicky’s death and committed to tangible actions to create a safer country for LGBTQ people. A documentary around the case and Cattrachas’ heroic work aired the following month.

Strategic Support for a Landmark Win

The Fund has proudly supported Cattrachas’ efforts spotlighting hate crimes since 2013.

Our flexible financial support has allowed them to leverage technology to track and analyze evidence of anti-LGBTQ discrimination and violence and launch legal cases in national and international courts. We have also helped Cattrachas staff deal with the toll their work takes, augmenting their security and helping them provide self-care needed while working in an incredibly hostile environment.

While this victory is for both Vicky’s family and the LGBTQ community in Honduras, the work of Cattrachas is still critical. Indyra and her team persist in working to ensure full equality for their community and an end to hate-driven violence.

Learn more about the Fund’s work supporting LGBTQ rights across the world.

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