On 19 September, Diversxs Alto Paraná, a collective that defends the rights of LGBTI people, presented an official notice informing the mayor of Hernandarias that they planned to hold a peaceful march in the city on 29 September
Today, Amnesty International, together with Diversxs Alto Paraná, and with the support of the Red Paraguaya de la Diversidad Sexual (REPADIS) and It Gets Better Paraguay, presented an Action of Unconstitutionality before the Supreme Court of Justice regarding two resolutions by the Board and Municipal Administration of the City of Hernandarias that violate the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people.
On 19 September, Diversxs Alto Paraná, a collective that defends the rights of LGBTI people, presented an official notice informing the mayor of Hernandarias that they planned to hold a peaceful march in the city on 29 September. The aim of the march was to commemorate the killing of Bernardo Aranda and the violence linked to the investigation of the case in 1959, during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. On 27 September, the mayor issued Resolution 3076/19, which banned the march on the grounds that it was considered contrary to “public morals”, and confirmed Resolution 036/19, which declared Hernandarias a “Pro-Life and Pro-Family City” (“Ciudad Pro-Vida y Pro-Familia”).
“The resolutions issued by the Hernandarias city hall clearly reflect intolerance that reinforces social prejudices and intensifies the damaging repercussions for LGBTI people in Paraguay. In our work around the world, we have documented how when authorities impose these types of measures, they lead to LGBTI people being stigmatized and criminalized and increase discrimination, social rejection and violence against them,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at International Amnesty.
City hall never formally notified Diversxs of these decisions, nor Amnesty International as the organization that supports them. Members of Diversxs were only allowed to take a picture of the resolutions at the police station after they insisted on seeing the official document.
Despite the local authorities' decision to ban the march, Diversxs decided to go ahead with their plans. Minutes after they started mobilizing, the group was verbally and physically assaulted by anti-rights groups, while the National Police failed to intervene to protect their rights or detain their attackers. Some members of Diversxs who were attacked filed criminal complaints for those responsible to be investigated and punished.
Amnesty International argued in the Action of Unconstitutionality filed before the Supreme Court that the resolutions violate the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and peaceful protest, and the right to equality before the law, among others. The organization also criticized the use of arguments about protecting “public morals” as a pretext to unduly restrict the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration, particularly against LGBTI people.
“States have an obligation to refrain from imposing any type of moral model or standards on individuals. We trust that the Supreme Court will ensure justice and find in favour of Diversxs and all LGBTI people in the country by declaring the resolutions unconstitutional and contrary to international human rights law,” said María Teresa Añazco Barudi, chair of Amnesty International Paraguay.
Tags: Paraguay, LGBTI, LGBTI RIGHTS.