HomeNewsBriefUN Demands Honduras Act to Protect Journalists
BRIEF

UN Demands Honduras Act to Protect Journalists

HONDURAS / 31 AUG 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Honduras is not doing enough to protect journalists in the country, according to a UN special envoy who claimed the country to be the most dangerous in Latin America for press workers.

Speaking August 14 at the end of a week-long visit to the country, the UN's special rapporteur on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, called on the Honduran government to do more to protect the country's journalists, declaring that Honduras now has the highest rate of journalist murders in the region in proportion to population, reported El Nuevo Diario.

According to the Reporters Without Borders, of the 26 journalists killed in Honduras in the last decade, 20 have been killed since the 2009 coup that saw current President Porfirio Lobo eventually take office. While one of the principal driving forces behind this spike is gang activity in the country -- one radio journalist was killed in December last year for refusing to pay extortion to a gang, for example -- some speculate that the country's police force is behind a crackdown on freedom of speech, carrying out extrajudicial killings. The same police force has well-documented links to organized crime in the country.

La Rue deplored the government's ineffectiveness in tackling these crimes and called on Lobo to act immediately. Among his proposals were providing journalists with armored vehicles, helping relocate them if they receive threats and increasing the penalty for those convicted of murdering press workers. "The absence of justice constitutes impunity and in this case, impunity generates more violence," La Rue stated.

InSight Crime Analysis

As El Nuevo Diario noted, La Rue did not provide figures to support his claim that Honduras ranks as the most dangerous country for members of the media in the region. Mexico has typically been regarded as the most dangerous Latin American country for journalists based on the total number killed in recent years. Last month, the country's special prosecutor for crimes against journalists stated that 67 journalists have been murdered since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.

Taking figures from the Inter American Press Association for 2011 -- seven journalists killed in Mexico, five in Honduras -- and adjusting them based on each country's population, Honduras would have a rate of 0.06 journalists murdered per 100,00 inhabitants and Mexico a rate of 0.006 for last year, supporting La Rue's assertion.

It remains to be seen how quickly Honduras will act to address this problem given the institutional problems facing the country. Combating an endemically high level of violence alongside widespread police corruption and an impunity rate of around 90 percent means that progress will likely be slow on the issue, despite La Rue's demands for swift action.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COVID AND CRIME / 30 MAR 2021

The seizure in Mexico of COVID-19 vaccine smuggled aboard a private plane linked to a Honduran textile magnate marks the…

ARGENTINA / 12 SEP 2022

Synthetic drugs like methamphetamine, fentanyl, and ecstasy are reshaping Latin America's drug trade.

EL SALVADOR / 20 JUL 2022

The US government has added dozens of individuals to a list of allegedly corrupt actors in Central America.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…