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Gays, Transgenders at Risk in Honduras


Reports indicate that conditions are worsening for vulnerable gay and transgender citizens of Honduras, with six murders reported since the June coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya and left Roberto Micheletti in charge.

The violence stems from a climate where security forces have cracked down on supporters of Zelaya in an attempt to halt opposition to Micheletti, the de facto president, according to The New York Times.

"The groups describe an atmosphere of growing impunity, one in which security forces act unhindered by legal constraints. Their free hand had been strengthened by an emergency decree allowing the police to detain anyone suspected of posing a threat," reports the Times.

Under those circumstances, populations already at risk face heightened threats of violence.

"Groups that were vulnerable to human rights abuses before the coup face even more risk now," the Times reports. "Since the coup, for example, there have been six murders of gay men or transvestites, according to gay rights groups. Until 2008, the average number of such killings each year was three to six."

Representatives from the Organization of American States headed to Honduras on Wednesday in an attempt to restart negotiations between Micheletti and Zelaya, who secretly returned to the country two weeks ago.

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