There is little doubt that the news business in Honduras is a dangerous one.
Depending on whose numbers you use, 16-24 journalists have been killed in Honduras in the past 4-5 years. And at least one group says only 5 have been killed as a direct result of being a journalist. (The other killings were undetermined. And let’s face it, in a place a violent as Honduras it is often hard to nail down motive in most of the killings.)
But there is not doubt about what happened today and why.
La Prensa was attacked by gunmen this morning. Witnesses report that 10 shots were fired at the front of the office. A security guard was hit and hospitalized.
The reason for the attack is most likely because La Prensa has been very aggressive in digging into wide spread corruption in the national police. La Tribuna reported that local police were responsible for the murders of two university students, that triggered a national uproar to end the violence and corruption.
The usual groups spoke out against the shooting. the Committee to Protect Journalists reported the shootings in a straight-forward manner. The AP reached out to the Inter-American Press Association and got a very strange comment:
The Inter-American Press Association says the Central American nation of 7.7 million has one of the worst press-freedom records in the hemisphere.
Worse than Cuba — which jails anyone who advocates free and independent media? Or worse than Venezuela — where news organizations that question the “wisdom” of the Chavez government are run out of business?
The media are free in Honduras and very very very aggressive. It is their aggressive nature that is getting them in trouble, not with the government but with the narcos and the corrupt police.
I really have to question the IAPA description of the media situation in Honduras. The lives of journalists are in danger. But their freedom is not being curtailed by the government.