In what has now become the 34th LGBTQIA+ homicide this year in Honduras, activist Melissa Nunez was shot dead in the Tomas Moncada neighborhood by several hooded individuals on a motorcycle, as reported in the Los Angeles Blade's Honduran media partner, Reportar sin Miedo, Report Without Fear.
Nunez had been in the United States, living in Miami for over 20 years, where she developed a strong interest in activism, as well as developing a following on TikTok of over 20,000 followers.
Although it is unknown what grounds she had asked for asylum under, she had only been back in Honduras for a few months, and friends say she had just dropped some friends off and was talking on her cell phone when hooded men on a motorcycle gunned her down.
Honduran activist groups say this is another example of just how dangerous life is for LGBTQIA+ people in the country, where discrimination and violence based on gender identity and expression are commonplace. United States officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris, acknowledge that it is this violence that is among factors that contribute to Hondurans as well as people from next-door El Salvador to emigrate.
Indyra Mendoza, the coordinator of the Honduran LGBTQIA+ group Cattrachas, reported that the primary cause of death was bullet wounds to Nunez's head.
Nunez's friend Catrina said on Facebook, "She was a person so full of life and energy that nothing was complicated...Fly high, Melissa, a very talented woman. Unfortunately, there are evil people."
Nunez's sister, Glenda de Jesus Nunez, spoke with Beaumont Entertprise and said, "I will remember her as a happy, charismatic, helpful person, always with her mother and family. She never had disagreements with us and always supported us throughout her entire life."