REPORT No. 157/18
CASE 13.051
MERITS
VICKY HERNÁNDEZ AND FAMILY
HONDURAS
December 7, 2018

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On December 23, 2012, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by Red Lésbica
“CATTRACHAS” a feminist lesbian organization in Honduras and Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres
(hereinafter “the petitioners”), 1 / 2 alleging the international responsibility of Honduras (hereinafter “the
Honduran State,” “the State,” or “Honduras”) to the detriment of Vicky Hernández and her family.
2.
The Commission adopted Report on Admissibility No. 64/16 on December 6, 2016. 3 On
December 15, 2016, the Commission notified the parties of that report and placed itself at their disposal with
a view to reaching a friendly settlement. The parties were afforded the regulation time limits to present
additional observations as to merits. All information received was duly relayed between the parties.
3.
The petitioners alleged that the State was responsible for the killing of Vicky Hernández, a
trans woman and human rights defender who was murdered during a curfew established under the coup d'état
in 2009. They argued that it was an extrajudicial execution given the high presence of military personnel and
police in the area as well as the existence of a context of violence, discrimination, and police brutality toward
LGBTI persons in Honduras, which intensified in the wake of the coup. They argued that the State had failed to
act with due diligence to investigate the facts and identify those responsible, and that there was discrimination
in terms of access to justice because of Vicky Hernández’s gender identity.
4.
The State contended that it had fulfilled its obligation to investigate the death of Vicky
Hernández and that it had made substantial efforts to get to the truth. It argued that the proceedings had been
long and drawn out because the case was complex. It said that it had not been demonstrated that the State,
through its agents, had acted in contravention of the Convention and that in the course of the proceedings the
effort had been made to respect the victim's gender identity.
5.
Based on its findings of fact and law, the Inter-American Commission has concluded that the
State is responsible for the violation of Articles 4(1) (right to life), 5(1) (right to humane treatment), 8.1 (right
to a fair trial), 11 (right to privacy), 13 (freedom of thought and expression), 24 (right to equal protection and
nondiscrimination), and 25(1) (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter "the American Convention" or "the Convention") taken in conjunction with the obligations
established in Article 1(1) of the same instrument. The Commission also found that there had been a violation
of Article 7 of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence
against Women, (hereinafter "Convention of Belém do Pará”). The Commission made appropriate
recommendations.
II.

SUBMISSIONS OF THE PARTIES

A.

The Petitioners

In a written communication dated March 30, 2015, the CDM withdrew its representation in this case.
Subsequently, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights became co-petitioner.
3 IACHR, Report No. 64/16, Petition 2332-12, Admissibility, Vicky Hernández and Family, Honduras, December 6, 2016. Articles 4, 5, 8, 13,
24, and 25 were declared admissible in connection with Article 1.1 of the American convention, as was Article 7 of the Convention of Belém
do Pará
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