State Department releases annual human rights report

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The State Department’s annual human rights report released March 11 notes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was commonplace around the world in 2019.

The report notes authorities in Chechnya continued “a campaign of violence against individuals perceived to be members of the LGBTI community.”

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First murder of transgender woman in El Salvador this year reported

By : Ernesto Valle OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Briyit Michelle Alas, photo via Facebook.

CIUDAD DELGADO, El Salvador | A transgender woman was found dead in El Salvador on Jan. 17.

The body of Briyit Michelle Alas, 22, was found in the Santa Margarita 2 neighborhood of Ciudad Delgado. She was not immediately identified because authorities did not find her ID documents at the scene; but she had been shot three times in her torso, once behind her ear and once in her shoulder. Authorities said Alas was killed at least 10 hours before they found her body.

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House Democrats call for ICE to release all transgender detainees

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A transgender woman inside a unit for transgender detainees in Milan, N.M. Photo public domain.

More than 40 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday called for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release all of the transgender people who are in their custody.

“The United States is bound by domestic and international law to protect — not punish — vulnerable populations escaping from persecution,” reads the letter to Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence and Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf that U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) spearheaded. “We demand that ICE abide by these laws by immediately bringing facilities detaining transgender individuals into compliance, and by arranging for release of transgender individuals at risk of sexual abuse and assault in ICE custody.”

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Transgender woman murdered in El Salvador capital

By : Ernesto Valle OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Anahy Miranda Rivas, photo via Facebook.

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador | Last Sunday, Oct. 27, dawned with the blood of one more LGBTQ Salvadoran spilled.

Authorities say a group of armed suspects who were inside a van grabbed Anahy Miranda Rivas, 27, on Boulevard de los Héroes in San Salvador, the Salvadoran capital. Preliminary reports indicate the suspects held and dragged her for several meters along the boulevard before they stabbed her with a sharp object.

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San Salvador mayor talks marriage equality in El Salvador during DC trip

By : Ernesto Valle OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Ernesto Muyshondt, photo via Facebook.

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador | The mayor of El Salvador’s capital talked about marriage equality in his country during a visit to D.C. earlier this month.

El Tiempo Latino, a Spanish-language newspaper in D.C., asked Ernesto Muyshondt about the issue during an Oct. 2 interview.

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Members of Congress urge ICE to improve transgender detainee treatment

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A transgender woman eats inside a unit for trans detainees in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M., on June 6, 2019. Photo public domain.

More than 30 members of Congress on Aug. 1 sent a letter to Acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence about the treatment of transgender detainees in their custody.

“We are gravely concerned regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) policies for individuals seeking asylum in the United States,” wrote the lawmakers. “Today, we write to express our strong concerns with ICE’s treatment of transgender migrants seeking asylum in the United States, especially those coming to the U.S. from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.”

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El Salvador police officers charged with murder of transgender woman deported from US

By : Ernesto Valle OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Three police officers have been charged with the murder of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman from El Salvador who was deported by the U.S. in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Aspidh Arcoiris Trans)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador | Three police officers in El Salvador have been charged with the murder of a transgender woman who was deported from the U.S.

The three police officers — Carlos Valentín Rosales, Jaime Giovanni Mendoza and Luis Alfredo — with El Salvador’s National Civil Police’s 911 System in San Salvador face charges of deprivation of liberty by an agent of authority and aggravated homicide as a hate crime in connection with Camila Díaz Cordova’s death earlier this year. The three men made their initial court appearance on July 5.

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LGBTI migrants from Central America find refuge in DC

By : Michael K. Lavers Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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Dariana Méndez and her partner, Rony Alexander, were sitting next to each other on a large couch at Casa Ruby in Northwest D.C. shortly after 7 p.m. on March 26.

Méndez, a transgender woman from San Salvador, El Salvador, told the Washington Blade that she and Rony Alexander, a gay man from Honduras’ Lempira department, became a couple when they arrived in D.C. earlier this month. Méndez also talked about the discrimination and violence she said she suffered in El Salvador because of her gender identity.

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US ‘troubled’ by anti-LGBTI crackdown in Tanzania

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Nov. 9 said the U.S. is “troubled” by the Tanzanian government’s anti-LGBTI crackdown.

“The United States government is deeply concerned over escalating attacks and legislative actions by the government of Tanzania that violate civil liberties and human rights, creating an atmosphere of violence, intimidation and discrimination,” she said in a statement. “We are troubled by the continued arrests and harassment of marginalized persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and others who seek to exercise their rights to freedom of speech, association and assembly. Legislation is being used to restrict civil liberties for all.”

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Biden urged to run in 2020 at Human Rights Campaign dinner

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Attendees at the annual Human Rights Campaign national dinner Saturday night urged Joseph Biden to challenge President Trump in 2020 amid speculation the former vice president is mulling a run for the White House.

As Biden approached the podium at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, he was greeted with calls of “Run, Joe, Run!” and “2020!” In response, Biden didn’t convey any thoughts about the upcoming presidential election, but thanked the audience and proceeded with his remarks.

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El Salvador government employee attacks activist, mother

By : Ernesto Valle OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador | An employee of the El Salvador Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday attacked a prominent LGBTI activist and her mother in the country’s capital of San Salvador.

Espacio de Mujeres Lesbianas por la Diversidad (ESMULES) Executive Director Andrea Ayala arrived at the ministry’s offices at a San Salvador mall 3:25 p.m. to fill out some paperwork. The guard did not allow her and her mother to enter, saying it was 3:30 p.m., the time at which the office closes for the day.

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Landmark ruling recognizes marriage, trans rights in the Americas

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Tuesday issued a landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender rights in the Western Hemisphere.

The seven judges who issued the ruling stated governments “must recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.” Six of the seven judges also agreed that it is necessary for governments “to guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination.”

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