The situation for journalists in Honduras is not getting any better.
The International Federation of Journalists issued a statement this week condemning the recent killings of three journalists in Honduras.
Joseph Hernández Ochoa, a former TV presenter was killed March1, David Meza Montesinos, a radio reporter died March 11 and fellow reporter Nahum Palacios Arteaga was murdered three days later. All killings were carried out in drive- by shootings.
The IFJ says journalists are victims of organised crime as the country struggles to restore political dialogue and law and order in the wake of last year’s coup d’état which sparked political unrest in the country. The Federation accused at the time the coup leaders of attacking journalists and closing media in Honduras.
Buckman’s article looks at the state of press freedom before the coup against the government of Manuel Zelaya and after under the government of Roberto Micheletti.
In 2005, emulating what [Venezuelan president Hugo] Chavez had done in Venezuela, Zelaya issued an executive decree mandating that the private stations carry 2½ hours a day of talk shows hosted by pro-Zelaya journalists who interviewed pro-Zelaya guests. Zelaya justified the decree in the interest of balance. He also expropriated Channel 8, turning it into a government mouthpiece.
The Micheletti government rescinded the decree mandating pro-Zelaya programming. Then, on Sept. 28, adopting the philosophy of “do unto others as others did unto you,” Micheletti issued his own decree closing the nettlesome Canal 36 cable TV channel and Radio Globo for “threatening peace and order.”
Honduras may no longer be a major story for the main stream media, but it is still a situation that needs to watched closely.