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Canadian man and partner reportedly killed in homophobic attack in Honduras

Local reports state they were shot and stabbed by attackers in the community of Tela on the Caribbean coast.

Canadian Gerard Argiud and his partner Jorge Sarmiento (pictured) were reportedly shot and stabbed in their home in Honduras.

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Canadian Gerard Argiud and his partner Jorge Sarmiento (pictured) were reportedly shot and stabbed in their home in Honduras.

An 80-year-old Canadian and his partner have died after what local media call a homophobic attack in their home in Honduras.

Local reports say they were shot and stabbed by attackers in the community of Tela on the Caribbean coast.

The Canadian, identified in local media reports as Gerard Argiud, died hours after the attack, the reports say.

Argiud’s Honduran partner, identified as Jorge Sarmiento, 42, was described in local media reports as a prominent member of the local LBGT community.

No hometown was given for Argiud, described as a Canadian national.

Global Affairs Canada had no immediate comment.

The murders prompted a warning from the Atlantis Travel Group, an international association which specializes in executive travel.

“Reports indicate the couple were attacked by several people because of their sexual orientation and position as prominent members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community,” the warning states.

“Although same-sex activity is legal in Honduras, LGBT travellers should avoid drawing attention to their sexuality,” the warning continues. “Members should remain vigilant to their surroundings at all times and adopt stringent precautions because of the high rates of violent and opportunistic crime.”

LGBT murders in Honduras are less likely to be punished than other killings, according to a report by an Inter-American Commission on human rights.

The Washington Blade noted that prominent LGBT activist Rene Martinez was murdered in Honduras last June. Martinez was a member of the ruling National Party and president of Comunidad Gay Sampedrana, an LGBT advocacy group.

Frommer’s and Lonely Planet travel guides both warn gay travelers about conditions in Honduras, as did the McClatchy news network.

CNN warned in 2011 that “hate crimes from beatings to murders are rising” in Honduras, according to local lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender groups.

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