A State Department spokesperson on Monday condemned the murder of a prominent LGBT activist in Honduras.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the apparent murder of Rene Martínez,” Elizabeth Trudeau told the Washington Blade during her daily press briefing. “We do offer our condolences to his friends, his family and his colleagues.”
Honduran media reports indicate that Martínez disappeared on June 1 after he left his home in the city of San Pedro Sula’s Chamelecón neighborhood. His relatives identified his body — which showed signs of strangulation — two days later.
Martínez, 40, was president of Comunidad Gay Sampedrana, a San Pedro Sula-based LGBT advocacy group that worked throughout northern Honduras.
He ran an outreach center in Chamelecón through Youth Alliance Honduras, an organization that is part of an anti-violence program the U.S. Agency for International Development helped to develop. Martínez was also a well-known member of Honduras’ governing National Party.
“A leader in the LGBTI community in San Pedro Sula and a rising political figure in Honduras, his death comes as a great shock,” said the U.S. Embassy in Honduras in a statement it released shortly after news of Martínez’s murder broke. “We offer our condolences to his friends and family, and expect a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances of his death.”
San Pedro Sula Mayor Armando Calidonio and diplomats from the E.U. and other countries have also condemned Martínez’s murder.
The Embassy in its statement said the U.S. “has already offered our assistance to Honduran authorities working to bring justice in this case.” Trudeau on Monday reiterated this point to the Blade without providing specific information.
“We have actually in fact already offered our assistance to the Honduran authorities to bring justice in this case,” she said.