Founded in 2003, Arcoíris is committed to empowering and informing the LGBTI community from Comayagüela and Tegucigalpa on issues of holistic health, the defence and promotion of human rights related to sexual diversity, advocacy, research and outreach. The populations they work with and who access their programs are lesbian and bisexual women, gay and bisexual men and transgender women and men (transsexual, transgender, transformist and transvestite). They also work with heterosexuals, the latter in terms of wider population to raising awareness in order to challenge stigmatisation and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Arcoíris is part of the Committee on Sexual Diversity and the Honduras UPR Platform and recently Donny Reyes, coordinator of the Association, was elected by representatives of civil society to join the National Council for the Protection of Human Rights as a deputy member.
PBI began accompanying the organisation in July 2015. The leaders of the Association report being the victims of attacks, threats and harassment, and that these attacks which aim to destabilise the organization. During the second half of 2015, PBI has reported more than 15 security incidents against members of the LGBTI Arcoíris Association, including surveillance, harassment, detentions, assaults, robberies, theft, threats, sexual assault and even murder. Several members have been forced into exile abroad, including Donny Reyes and Esdra Yaveth Sosa. Since 2009, Donny Reyes has been the beneficiary of precautionary measures issued by the IACHR to protect his safety, but to date the Honduran authorities have not properly implemented these measures, as reported by several international organisations.
Situation for the LGBTI community
Honduras has been named the ‘most dangerous country in Central America for members of the gay and lesbian community’ .
In Honduras, the LGBTI community has noted an increase in violence and crime against its members since the coup d’état in 2009. Between 1994 and 2008, 20 violent deaths were recorded, which multiplied significantly over the following six years. From 2009 until the end of 2014, there were 184 violent deaths. The group that registered most victims was gay men, with 103 murders; followed by 71 murders of transgender people and 15 lesbians. In October 2015, in the absence of official and updated figures, the number of murders of LGBTI people stood at 24, increasing the death toll to 204 since the coup d’état.