The Violation of the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons in El Salvador

Shadow Report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee

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This shadow report is the product of a joint endeavour by the following organizations: Asociación Salvadoreña de Derechos Humanos "Entre Amigos" (Salvadorean Human Rights Association, "Between Friends"), International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), Global Rights, International Human Rights Clinic of the Harvard Law School (HLS) Human Rights Program, y Red Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Personas Trans (Red LACTRANS, Latin American and Caribbean Network of Trans Persons).

The purpose of this document is to provide relevant information on the human rights situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans persons in El Salvador to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as a way of complementing and/or clarifying the data submitted by the Salvadorean State through its Sixth Periodical Report under Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

This document covers events that took place in El Salvador between 2004 and the present time. The information it contains was provided mainly by Asociacion "Entre Amigos", through its founder and Director William Hernandez and by Red LACTRANS, through its representative Marcela Romero. Additional data was collected through media clips, internal legislation and documents produced by other non-governmental organizations.

However, the cases mentioned in this report do not exhaust the human rights violations against persons of a non-conforming sexual orientation or gender identity in El Salvador. According to William Hernandez, during some periods and in particular during the year 2006 (infra para. 29), the "work of documenting and denouncing has been affected by the lack of technical and financial resources". Moreover, many cases are neither published by the media, nor reported by the victims and/or their families and involve persons who have not publicly acknowledged their sexual orientation3. This situation is even more serious in the case of lesbian women, most of whom "do not report physical, verbal, psychological, religious and work-related violence they suffer, because they are afraid and they live hiding (their sexual orientation) from their families or at work."