Honduran activist Erick Vidal Martinez to speak at Global Exchange
Erick Vidal Martinez is a human rights trainer at the Center for Investigation and Promotion of Human Rights (CIPRODEH) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Eric is the second, openly gay candidate to ever run for Congress in Honduras, taking the place of the first-ever openly gay candidate (with a similar name) who was murdered earlier this year.
Erick first became an LGBT activist in 2006 as a volunteer and then staffer with Kukulcán, an organization supported by the Global Fund on AIDS, which promotes awareness, prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the LGBT community. In 2009, Erick began full-time work with CIPROEH informing the public about massive human rights violations taking place subsequent to the 28 June 2009 coup d’état, which ousted the democratically elected president of Honduras. At CIPRODEH, Erick was human rights promoter, monitored abuses together with his LGBT colleague, Walter Trochez. Walter was assassinated on the 13 of December 2009 amid violence unleashed by the coup’s plotters.
Several months after Walter’s murder, Erick joined in founding the Diversity Movement in Resistance (MDR). Erick was selected as the liaison to the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP) in order to give visibility to the LBGT community. Through MDR, the LGBT community participated in Resistance National Assemblies, where LGBT recommendations were discussed, incorporated, and approved by local, regional, and national Resistance assemblies.
In June 2012, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), delivered a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed by 84 members of the U.S. Congress inquiring about the murder of 70 LGBT Hondurans since the coup, highlighting the assassination cases of LGBT leaders Walter Trochez and Erick Martinez Avila.
Erick Vidal Martinez will be in the United States to raise awareness about LGBT community in Honduras and to seek international solidarity to stand with them in their struggle. Erick will be receiving a Legacy Award from the Federation of Gay Games on their 30th annual celebration in West Hollywood Oct 21, 2012 and will be doing speaking events throughout California Oct 17-27, 2012.