Dignity + Pride: Resistance of the LBTQINB+ movement in Latin America 

21 June 2024

Dignity + Pride: Resistance of the LBTQINB+ movement in Latin America

This June 28th, International LGBTQINB+ [1]Pride Day, we consider it important to point out policies and actions that are jeopardizing their rights in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The strength acquired in recent years by various conservative forces that support fundamentalisms and hate speech in the region is concerning. They have taken major steps to violently halt and hinder the guarantee of a free and dignified life for those who inhabit dissidence and defy heteronormativity.


In less than 6 months, Argentina experienced a drastic changeafter president Milei entered office; he has led the country into a serious human rights crisis. The closure of the Undersecretary of Protection against Gender Violence is one of the main blows to combat violence against women, LBTQI+ and non-binary people; now, there is no government agency responsible for safeguarding their rights.

With the approval of Argentina’s new reform bill, known as theBase Law, the guarantees of labor rights and gender equality are violated, especially for LGBTQI+ people. In addition, the ban on gender-inclusive language in Argentina’s public administration perpetuates the discrimination and violation of gender identity and sexual orientation.

In Chile, the Minister of Health made an impromptu decision, while responding to transphobic arguments, to"suspend hormone treatments for anyone under 18 years old." This leaves it unclear what the process will be for those who require or were already undergoing these treatments, leaving the rights of trans children unprotected and rendering invisible the struggle for the respect of gender diversity.

In addition, the Chamber of Deputies rejected the reform of"Zamudio Law”, which proposed actions for the "eradication, prevention, punishment and reparation of all arbitrary discrimination." However, under LGBT-hating and anti-rights arguments, they rejected the initiative that feminist and LGBTQI+ collectives spent years advocating for.

In Colombia, Congress sunk the bill that sought to Prohibit Efforts to Correct or Change Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (ECOSIG)—improperly called conversion therapies—after it had successfully passed the first two debates in the House of Representatives in March. Senators managed to modify the agenda so that the initiative could not be discussed. These actions represent a substantial setback in guaranteeing the rights ofLBTQINB+ people and are a risk for the country's democracy.

In Peru, the Minister of Health included trans identities on the list of mental illnesses in the Essential Health Insurance Plan (PEAS), contradicting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision that transsexuality is not a mental disorder. This is a serious step backwards for trans rights since it promotes discrimination and violence against trans people, in addition to opening the door for them to be subjected to "conversion therapies".

In El Salvador, the government decided to eliminate content on gender perspectives from school curricula as part of its violent actions and discourse which labels all education that talks about gender diversity, feminism, comprehensive education in sexuality, equality, etc. as "gender ideology." These actions contribute to the increase in gender violence and hate attacks in addition to being a clear violation of human rights.


In Argentina, the wave of crimes and violence against gender and sexual dissidence continues, perpetuated by the State’s constant hate speech. An example is the triple lesbicide in Barracas which unleashed a wave of protests and indignation because it was not classified or judged from a gender perspective. According to theNational Observatory of Hate Crimes against LGBT+ People, during 2023, 133 hate crimes were registered, of which 71% were committed by the State. This is extremely alarming because the State is the one who should guarantee security and protection to society and not be the one who violates the life and rights of LGBTQI+ populations.

According to the organizationColombia Diversa, as of April of this year, 8 murders of trans people have been recorded in Colombia. In 2023, 159 LGBTQI+ people were murdered. These figures are alarming since there is no glimpse of policies or intentions on the part of the State to eradicate this violence.

Mexico City, despite being considered the "city of rights'' in Mexico, has the highest number of murders of trans people so far this year, with 8 transfeminicides registered. In addition, there is an increase in violence and murders of LGBTQ+ people and activists. The organizationLetra S has documented at least 31 hate crimes against gender diverse people and warns that the number of people murdered could rise to more than 150.

Peruvian organizations stated that in 2023 at least 8 trans people were killed by hate crimes. However, there are no official records since there is no agency that tracks this data.

According to the Observatory of LGBTI+ Deaths and Violence in Brazil, in 2023 there were 184 murders of gender diverse people. Although this figure is decreasing, Brazil remains the most dangerous country for the LBTQINB+ people.

Between 2020 and 2022, theMesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-D) recorded that 19% of the cases of aggressions against women human rights defenders in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico were a direct response to the work of an organization or group that promotes the defense of women’s and the LBTTQI+ population’s rights.

Although the political climate in our region is not favorable for the access to rights of the most marginalized populations, and especially for gender diverse and dissident communities, we at UAF-LAC want to join the demands of the LBTQINB+ movement to accompany their strength and the dignity with which they resist throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. We know that the crises we are currently facing are the result of a model rooted in colonialism, extractivism, militarization and other crises.

We are certain that other forms of love are possible, other realities are already being built by LBTQINB+ organizations and collectives throughout Abya Yala. That is why we will continue to support and make visible the actions that, through resistance and dignity, continue to fight for a sense of identity and pride for the LBTQINB+ movement in Latin America and the Caribbean.

[1]Throughout the text, we use a variety of terms to reflect the diversity of identities that fall under this umbrella. NB refers to non-binary, a community that’s often been invisibilized within the LGBTQINB+ community and movement.


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