Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A family photo of Vicky Hernández, courtesy of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Cattrachas. Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

An international court is examining whether the Honduran government was complicit in the killing of Vicky Hernández, a 26-year-old trans woman fatally shot on the night of the country's 2009 coup d'état.

Why it matters: Legal advocates say the case could set a legal precedent across Latin America, which has the world's highest concentration of trans murders, according to activists.

  • It's also the first case to ask the Inter-American Court of Human Rights' whether a government has failed to protect a transgender person.

Background: In June 2009, Hernández's body was found around 7am local time on a San Pedro Sula street. An examination at the scene by first responders judged her time of death to be the middle of the previous night, when a curfew was in place that allowed only military and law enforcement outdoors.

She had been shot in the head, Kacey Mordecai, a senior staff attorney with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, which brought the case before the court, told Axios.

  • Two other trans women reported that on the night of Hernández death, a police patrol car, or "military patrol," drove up to them and Hernández, who was a sex worker. The three women scattered as they were approached, per testimony given in November by Claudia Spellmant, who had spoken to the two women at Vicky's funeral.
  • Attorneys with RFK Human Rights say they have not seen evidence from authorities that a final autopsy report was ever completed.
  • Honduran human rights group Cattrachas alleges that Hernández was the victim of an extrajudicial killing, citing the circumstances and timing of her death.

The other side: “There is no evidence at all, and nor can it be rationally inferred, that those responsible for Vicky Hernández’s death were members of the public safety forces, simply because a patrol car trying to avoid lamentable tragedies happened to be nearby,” Sonia Escobar Rodríguez, the government's lawyer for the case, wrote in an argument summary shared with the New York Times.

The big picture: The case and the government's response highlight the broader dangers and inequities for transgender people in Honduras, Mordecai said.

  • "Our case is about Vicky's death. It was the moment that cost her her life. But to me, what it represents, it's really about her life in Honduras and how she wasn't able to live as Vicky Hernández."

What they're saying: "They told me to fight and fight, so that Vicky's death does not go unpunished," Rosa Hernández, Vicky's mother, told the Los Angeles Blade from her home in San Pedro Sula.

  • The Inter-American court required the state to protect Vicky's relatives after her mother received three phone calls from someone claiming to be a Honduras police representative. The state acknowledged the calls took place and said they weren't meant to be intimidating.

The bottom line: Even if the court requires Honduras to pay damages to Hernández' family, systemic changes — like training police and legally recognizing trans people's names and genders — are still needed to fight anti-trans discrimination in the country.

Go deeper

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress passes $2.1B Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

A $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill is heading to President Biden for his signature after the House and Senate passed the legislation on Thursday.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 riot.

Biden details new vaccination initiatives as COVID cases surge

Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden detailed several new initiatives on Thursday to get more Americans vaccinated and slow the spread of the Delta variant.

Why it matters: The plan outlines aggressive next steps from the federal government as COVID-19 cases surge across the country due to the contagious Delta variant and as demand for vaccines has tapered off.

Ex-Cardinal McCarrick charged with sexually assaulting teen in 1970s

Theodore McCarrick in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked in 2019, has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy in the 1970s, AP reports.

Why it matters: McCarrick is the first cardinal in the U.S. to "ever be criminally charged with a sexual crime against a minor," AP notes, citing Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer for the man allegedly abused by McCarrick.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!