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Deaths & Threats
Haunt El Salvadorian Activists


By Rex Wockner
International News Report

elsalvadorgun.jpg - 7.39 K William HernÓndez, head of the El Salvador gay group Entre Amigos (Among Friends), is receiving death threats, reports the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

"IGLHRC continues to be profoundly concerned about the safety of William HernÓndez," the group said. "In one call, the person said that he wanted to speak to the executive director, William HernÓndez, and that he already knew how to reach the Entre Amigos office in order to kill him.

"The caller also left an accurate physical description of the executive director. In a later call that day, the same individual warned, 'Tell that son of a bitch not to leave tonight.' The threats were aimed not only at Hernandez but at his two daughters and his father--whose whereabouts the anonymous caller seemed to know in ominous detail."

El Salvadoran gays, lesbians, and transgendered people have been subjected to a campaign of terror, violence, and murder--with seven anti-gay killings confirmed in 1999, IGLHRC said.

"In the most recent instance," the group said, "on the night of Friday, December 10, 1999, in San Salvador, Nestor Adonai Marenco, 37, left the Tulito bar--where he had worked for the last 15 years--together with his roommate Rafael Ernesto Martinez ('Sandra') and another drag queen known as 'La Raiza.'

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International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission

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"A taxi approached them on the street, carrying five men dressed in black. Five shots were fired at Marenco, who tried to run but failed to escape. According to reports by the National Civil Police, one bullet struck him on the temple and another in the face. He died instantly.

"The San Salvador newspaper El Diario de Hoy reported on Decemeber 11 that 'one of the witnesses, who refused to identify himself, pointed out that the individual in question was murdered because he had been a witness to the murder of Doris.'

Jose Armando Rivera, also known as 'Doris,' had been killed in the same neighborhood in October."

To offer assistance, contact iglhrc@iglhrc.org or phone 1 (415) 255-8680.

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