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Honduras gay rights activist kidnapped and murdered

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Rene Martinez was kidnapped and murdered

An LGBT rights activist in Honduras has been found dead, days after he was kidnapped outside his home.

39-year-old gay activist Rene Martinez was kidnapped on Wednesday as he was arriving home from work, when unknown men forced him into a vehicle.

His body was found two days later in a nearby neighbourhood, according to Associated Press. Mr Martinez appears to have been strangled.

The activist had served as President of of San Pedro Sula-based rights group Comunidad Gay Sampredrana, and worked for an anti-violence programme developed alongside the US Agency for International Development.

In a statement, the US Embassy in Honduras condemned the murder.

It reads: “On behalf of the people and the government of the United States, we condemn in the strongest terms the apparent murder of Rene Martinez.

“A leader in the LGBTI community in San Pedro Sula and a rising political figure in Honduras, his death comes as a great shock.

“We offer our condolences to his friends and family, and expect a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances of his death.

“The United States has already offered our assistance to Honduran authorities working to bring justice in this case.”

He had been a rising star of the Honduras political scene.

Luis Abolafia Anguita  of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute told the Washington Blade: “Rene was a brilliant LGBT political leader in Honduras and a promising future political candidate.”

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