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Activistas nicaragüenses asisten taller de Victory Institute

Protestas contra el gobierno han dejado cientos de muertos

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Un grupo de cinco activistas nicaragüenses asistieron a un taller patrocinado por el Victory Institute que se realizó cerca de la capital hondureña de Tegucigalpa el pasado fin de semana. (Foto dominio público)

SANTA LUCÍA, Honduras — Cinco activistas nicaragüenses que participan en protestas contra el gobierno de su país asistieron a un taller LGBTI regional que se realizó en Honduras el pasado fin de semana.

Los activistas que viene de la capital nicaragüense de Managua y la ciudad de Chinandega están entre las 28 personas que asistieron al taller patrocinado por el Victory Institute que se realizó fuera de la capital hondureña de Tegucigalpa el 28-29 de septiembre.

SOMOS CDC, Asociación Lambda y Caribe Afirmativo — tres grupos LGBTI de Honduras, Guatemala y Colombia respectivamente — también organizaron el taller.

El taller — uno de tres que se espera realizarse en Centroamérica durante los próximos meses — se realizó menos de seis meses después del comienzo de las protestas contra el gobierno del presidente nicaragüense Daniel Ortega y su esposa, la vice presidenta Rosario Murillo. Ira sobre el plan de reducir los beneficios de seguridad social y la respuesta del gobierno a un incendio en la Reserva Biológica Indio Maíz en la costa caribeña del país provocaron las protestas.

Los informes indican más de 500 personas han sido asesinadas desde el comienzo de las protestas el 18 de abril. Los activistas preguntaron al Washington Blade de no identificarles por nombre o de publicar sus fotos por razones de preocupaciones sobre su seguridad.

Un activista, un hombre gay de Chinandega, notó la Mesa Nacional LGBTIQ de Nicaragua era entre las primeras organizaciones que instaron al gobierno de no usar violencia contra las manifestantes. El activista señaló la Mesa Nacional LGBTIQ de Nicaragua el 15 de junio emitió otro comunicado que llamaba al gobierno de participar en un dialogo con líderes de las protestas que la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos y obispos católicos habían negociado.

El grupo también demandó “el cese a la represión en todos sus niveles y en toda Nicaragua” y “la libertad de todas las personas ilegalmente encarceladas.”

“La Mesa Nacional LGBTIQ de Nicaragua repudia enérgicamente todas las acciones violentas del régimen ortega murillo destacada hacia la población nicaragüense,” dice el comunicado.

Activista: Nicaragüenses LGBTI han sido asesinados

William Ramírez Cerda, un activista gay, y más de 200 otras personas fueron atrapados al dentro de una iglesia a la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua en julio cuando las fuerzas pro gubernamentales la rodeaban. Ramírez dijo al Blade durante una entrevista después del asedio de 15 horas que un estudiante que fue disparado en la cabeza fuera de la iglesia murió.

El activista gay de Chinandega dijo al Blade que personas LGBTI han sido asesinado en su ciudad durante protestas contra el gobierno. Una activista de Managua que se describe como una “mujer lesbiana” y “feminista organizada” dijo que actualmente hay 11 presos políticos LGBTI en Nicaragua.

Los activistas también dijeron que el gobierno ha lanzado una “campaña de desinformación” en las redes sociales para atacar a los activistas LGBTI y otros participantes en las protestas.

Una captura de pantalla que el activista gay de Chinandega mandó al Blade tiene una foto de una “terrorista” buscado descrito como “promotor de odio y violencia a través de sus redes sociales.” Otra captura de pantalla de una página de Facebook que fue grabada el 29 de agosto tiene fotos de activistas descritos como “asesinos terroristas de la derecha.”

“La campaña de desinformación va a dirigir exactamente para las y los activistas LGBT quien han estado de forma visible en la lucha,” dijo el activista gay de Chinandega.

Otros activistas que hablaron al Blade dijeron que han sido amenazados por simpatizantes del gobierno.

Un activista gay de Managua dijo que traía medicamentos y otros suministros a los estudiantes que ocuparon dos universidades. También dijo al Blade que vio miembros de la Policía Nacional de Nicaragua matan a manifestantes.

El activista dijo simpatizantes del gobierno en su barrio “me amenazan mucho.”

“A veces tengo que irme a otro lado de Managua donde visito a familiares,” dijo al Blade.

Una activista trans de Managua dijo al Blade que trata de mantener un bajo perfil porque muchos de sus vecinos apoyan el gobierno. La activista dijo que una compañera trans fue forzada de cortarse el cabello mientras ella estaba bajo custodia.

“Comenzamos pues tener más cuidado de hacer cualquier comentación en Facebook, cualquier publicación,” ella dijo al Blade. “Yo siempre dijo ante de la seguridad de mi es la de mi familia.”

Una activista de Chinandega estaba estudiando a una universidad en Managua cuando empezaron las protestas. Ella dijo la inquietud le provocó de renunciar de su trabajo y volver a Chinandega.

“Esto me afectó directamente,” dijo la activista.

El activista gay de Chinandega dijo al Blade se ha detenido por la Policía Nacional tres veces. Dijo que ahora vive con su hermana “por razones que me han dado a la policía.”

“Yo no estoy viviendo en mi casa,” el dijo al Blade.

Funcionarios nicaragüenses bajo sanciones estadounidenses

Ortega — que lideró el movimiento sandinista que se derrumbó el gobierno del entonces dictador Anastasio Somoza en 1979 — ha sido presidente de Nicaragua desde 2007. No hubo protestas visibles contra el gobierno en Managua cuando el Blade reportaba desde la ciudad al fin de febrero, aunque líderes de la oposición han dicho que Nicaragua se ha convertido en un país más autoritario bajo el régimen Ortega Murillo.

Un cartel en Managua, Nicaragua, el 27 de febrero de 2018, promueve el presidente nicaragüense Daniel Ortega y su esposa, la vicepresidenta Rosario Murillo. Protestas contra el gobierno del país centroamericano han dejado cientos de muertos. (Foto del Washington Blade por Michael K. Lavers)

Los EEUU en Julio sancionó al comisionado de la Policía Nacional Francisco Javier Díaz Madriz y dos otros altos funcionarios del gobierno bajo una ley que congela los activos de ciudadanos extranjeros que cometen abusos contra los derechos humanos y les prohíbe ingresar a los EEUU. Los activistas dijeron al Blade que apoyan más sanciones en contra el gobierno de Ortega Murillo, y no una posible intervención militar de los EEUU y/o otros países para expulsarlo del poder.

“Lo que no estamos de acuerdo desde mi punto de vista es una intervención militar,” dijo el activista gay de Chinandega.

La activista que salió de Managua y volvió a Chinandega después del comienzo de las protestas estaba en acuerdo con sus compañeros que dijeron Ortega y Murillo tienen que renunciar. La activista dijo que los partidarios del gobierno con posiciones en las instituciones del Estado nicaragüense también deben salir.

“Hay impunidad,” la activista dijo al Blade.

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Politics

FBI investigates failed assassination attempt on Donald Trump

LGBTQ groups have condemned the shooting that took place in Pa.

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Former President Donald Trump is shot at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania (Screen capture via CNN)

Authorities are investigating a failed assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump at a rally Saturday in Butler, Pa., where a bullet pierced the ear of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

One attendee was killed, along with the suspected shooter. Two others were critically injured in the attack.

The gunman was identified as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, a registered Republican from Bethel Park, Pa., who gave to Democratic donation platform ActBlue in January 2021.

“I want to thank The U.S. Secret Service, and all of law enforcement, for their rapid response on the shooting that just took place in Butler, Pennsylvania,” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social.

Former first lady Melania Trump wrote on Sunday that “When I watched that violent bullet strike my husband, Donald, I realized my life, and Barron’s life, were on the brink of devastating change.”

“A monster who recognized my husband as an inhuman political machine attempted to ring out Donald’s passion — his laughter, ingenuity, love of music, and inspiration,” she wrote.

President Joe Biden was scheduled to receive a briefing on Sunday at the White House with homeland security and law enforcement officials while the Republican-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee said it would be investigating the assassination attempt and had asked U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle to testify at a hearing on July 22.

“I’ve been thoroughly briefed by all the agencies in the federal government as to the situation, based on what we know now,” Biden said in remarks from Rehoboth Beach, Del., just after the assassination attempt on Saturday night.

“I have tried to get a hold of Donald,” the president said, “He’s with his doctors.” (The two would talk later on Saturday.)

“There is no place in America for this kind of violence,” Biden said. “It’s sick. It’s sick. It’s one of the reasons why we have to unite this country. We cannot allow for this to be happening. We cannot be like this. We cannot condone this.” 

“We are shocked by tonight’s apparent assassination attempt on President Trump in Pennsylvania and relieved that he is safe and in good condition,” Log Cabin Republicans President Charles Moran said on X.

“Our prayers are with President Trump, his family, and our country while we wait to learn further details,” he said. “We are also praying for the family of the innocent bystander who was killed. Our movement will not be deterred.”

Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson said on X, “Political violence has no place in America. The attack at today’s rally in PA is an affront to our democracy, and our thoughts are with the former president and all those affected. As a nation, we must unite to condemn political violence in all its forms.”

The National LGBTQ Task Force shared a statement on Instagram:

“Politically motivated violence is unacceptable and has no place in our democratic process. No matter our differences or disagreements, we must all be of one voice in condemning the use of violence as a political statement as we prepare for the upcoming elections.

“We understand that yesterday – and every day- so many in our communities are targeted and live in fear as the political and cultural climates become ever more hostile.

“The National LGBTQ Task Force will continue to work for the safety of our communities and policies and advocate for legislation that protects us. We hope this will motivate and energize all parties to pass federal gun safety laws.”

Congressional leaders from both parties also issued statements condemning political violence.

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Africa

Cameroon president’s daughter comes out

Brenda Biya acknowledges relationship with Brazilian model

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Brenda Biya (Photo via Instagram)

The daughter of Cameroonian President Paul Biya has come out as a lesbian.

Brenda Biya, 26, on June 30 posted to her Instagram page a picture of her kissing Brazilian model Layyons Valença.

“I’m crazy about you and I want the world to know,” said Brenda Biya.

Her father has been Cameroon’s president since 1982.

Consensual same-sex sexual relations remain criminalized in the Central African country that borders Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and Chad. The State Department’s 2023 human rights report notes harassment, discrimination, violence, and arbitrary arrests of LGBTQ people are commonplace in the country.

Brenda Biya is a musician who does not live in Cameroon.

The BBC reported she told Le Parisien, a French newspaper, in an exclusive interview published on Tuesday that she and Valença have been together for eight months. The women have also traveled to Cameroon together three times, but Brenda Biya did not tell her family they were in a relationship.

Brenda Biya said she did not tell her family that she planned to come out, and they were upset when she did. Brenda Biya told Le Parisien that her mother, Cameroonian first lady Chantale Biya, asked her to delete her Instagram post.

The Washington Blade on Thursday did not see the picture of Brenda Biya and Valença on her Instagram account.

“Coming out is an opportunity to send a strong message,” Brenda Biya told Le Parisien.

Brenda Biya described Cameroon’s criminalization law as “unfair, and I hope that my story will change it.”

Activists applauded Brenda Biya for coming out. The BBC reported the DDHP Movement, which supports Cameroon’s anti-LGBTQ laws, filed a complaint against her with the country’s public prosecutor.

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District of Columbia

D.C. Public Schools’ LGBTQ+ program helps ensure students feel safe

More than half of queer students experience bullying, harassment

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According a study from Theirworld of LBGTQ+ Gen-Z youth, students feel unsafe in schools. D.C. Public Schools is trying to combat the problem in the District. 

“Research shows that the way schools and families respond to LGBTQ+ youth can affect their physical health, mental health outcomes, academic outcomes, and their decision-making later in life,” said DCPS’ LGBTQ+ Programming Specialist, Adalphie Johnson. 

DCPS’ LGBTQ+ Program started in 2011 after a 2009 survey from GLSEN revealed that 9 out of 10 queer students reported in-school harassment. 

In response, they have created extensive programming to ensure students feel safe at D.C. Public Schools. In 2015 they created a trans and non-binary policy that included guidance on LGBTQ+ terms, locker room accommodations, gender-neutral dress codes, and more. 

In addition, they host an annual conference for queer and trans DCPS students. 

“The “Leading With Pride” conference increases networking, and builds the leadership capacity of our students and faculty advisers to implement school-level LGBTQ programming,” Johnson said. 

In 2023, more than 500 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in state legislatures according to HRC. This year, Theirworld’s survey found that more than half of LGBTQ students experienced bullying and harassment at school.

Johnson said that students feeling safe in school requires creating an environment where all students can thrive. 

“We encourage students to report incidents without fear of retaliation and ensure that reports are taken seriously and investigated promptly,” she said. 

Johnson also pointed out that as a result of discrimination, students are more likely to miss school, which can lead to low grades, along with impairing cognitive responses. So, she said, it is best for schools to respond with action swiftly. 

However, Johnson and the LGBTQ+ programming team acknowledge that not all students come from supportive backgrounds. 

As a part of their trans and gender-nonconforming policy, staff are expected to work closely with students to determine how involved parents are with the transitioning student, before contacting parents. 

Johnson gave parents eight steps to ensure the safety of their child, if they are in the LGBTQ community.  

8 Steps For Parents

1. Educate Yourself. Learn about LGBTQ+ identities, issues, and terminology. Understanding the basics can help you provide better support and avoid misunderstandings.

2. Listen and Communicate. Create an open and non-judgmental space for your child to express themselves. Listen to their experiences and feelings without interrupting or offering unsolicited advice.

3. Advocate for Them. Stand up for your child in situations where they may face discrimination or misunderstanding. Become actively involved in the PTA and other parent groups within the school.

4. Seek Support. Lead or organize programming with/for other parents of LGBTQ+ children can provide  valuable insights and emotional support.

5. Respect Their Privacy. Allow your child to determine their own level of outness at school. Don’t share their identity without their permission.

6. Create a Safe Environment. Inform the school of any homophobic or transphobic remarks or behavior from others.

7. Inform school about their needs. Recognize that each LGBTQ+ person’s experience is unique. Ask your child what they need from you and how you can best support them. Communicate those needs to the school. This would be a great opportunity to develop and share a Safety Plan for the student while at school. 

8. Promote Inclusivity. Encourage, support and inform inclusive policies and practices in your child’s school community. 

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