Honduran journalists around the country called for an end to escalating violence in the country that also threatens free media May 25.
Twenty-two journalists have been killed in Honduras in the past two years. Many of the journalists received threats to back off on their reporting of narco influence in the country. Unfortunately, because of the weak judicial system and ill-trained police (and corrupt police), none of the cases have been investigated to determine the reason for the murders or even who did the crimes.
Without investigations it is difficult to claim that the killings were directly related to the journalists’ jobs. It is a pretty fair assumption that many were killed because they were looking into issues that the criminal elements in the country did not want exposed. But some could have also been killed because of mistaken identity or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (The Committee to Protect Journalists can confirm only three of the 22 journalists killed in teh past two years were murdered because of their work.)
The demonstrations in Honduras yesterday were well attended and made the point that killing journalists will not kill the truth. It was the one time the political, social and economic communities united on that one message.
Unfortunately, such demonstrations do not achieve that vital “tipping point” in society to get everyone on board to end the violence.
I am firmly convinced that the Lobo government wants to end the violence that has placed Honduras as the most dangerous country in the world. I also believe that there are hundreds — if not thousands — of everyday people who want to end the violence.
Unfortunately, the general sense of the society seems to be to NOT step up and demand the government and its institutions do something about ending the violence and corruption.
Few seem to be making the connection that their freedoms are at risk by those who are killing the journalists. And the demonstration May 25 was a good start to helping educate the public, but I don’t hold out hope that the process can be sustained.
Here are links to some of the coverage of the demonstrations: (Use Google Translate to work through the Spanish.)
- Comunicadores de Honduras se unen para pedir paz
- Periodistas claman por no más muertes
- “Sabemos que no van a callar a los periodistas”: Porfirio Lobo
- “No se mata la verdad matando periodistas” ¡Basta Ya!