October CommQuote

There are many hotbeds around the world where it is dangerous to work as a journalist. Honduras is one of them. In the past ten years at least 32 journalists have lost their lives and many more have been violently attacked or threatened. It doesn’t seem to matter if they work for mainstream newspaper and broadcasting outlets or alternative/community media outlets. One of the most shocking and recent cases is that of television journalist Anibal Barrow, abducted on June 24, 2013 only to be discovered, his body dismembered, days later (pictured below is his grieving son). The message to journalists is clear. Writes Dina Meza in the latest Index on Censorship (Volume 42, No. 3), in a piece titled Reign of Terror : “Those reporting on human rights violations, drug trafficking, organised crime, US intervention in Honduran politics and corruption are clearly vulnerable. Land issues are also highly contentious topics. Whether it’s the destruction of the environment for profit, particularly by mining and hydro-electric companies, land ownership or land-grabbing, these live issues galvanise communities and journalists alike, who use both traditional media and social networks to spread information.”

So our CommQuote this month is our saddest one to date. It is a list, one compiled by the Honduran Human Rights Commissioner.

Honduras’s murdered journalists, 2003–2013Anibal Barrow, Globo TV, Cortes – 24 June 2013 Celin Orlando Acosta Zelaya, freelance, Olancho – 31 January 2013 Angel Edgardo Lopez Fiallos, journalism student, Francisco Morazan – 8 November 2012 Julio Cesar Cassaleno, Direction Nacional de Transito (Transport) – 28 August 2012 Jose Noel Canales Lagos, Hondudiario and SEPROC, Tegucigalpa – 10 August 2012 Adonis Felipe Bueso Gutierrez, Radio Naranja, Cortes – 8 July 2012 Erick Martinez, Asociacion Kukulcan, Francisco Morazan – 7 May 2012 Noel Alexander Valladares, Maya TV, Francisco Morazan – 23 April 2012 Fausto Elio Valle, Radio Alegre, Colon – 11 March 2012 Fabiola Almendares Borjas, journalism student, Cortes – 1 March 2012 Luz Marina Paz, Honduran News Channel, Francisco Morazan – 6 December 2011 Medardo Flores, Radio Uno, Cortes – 9 September 2011 Nery Jeremias Orellana, Radio Joconguera, Lempira – 14 July 2011 Adan Benitez, 45TV and Teleceiba Canal 7, Atlantida – 5 July 2011 Luis Mendoza, Macrosistema Company and Canal 24, Danli – 19 May 2011 Hector Francisco Medina Polanco, Omega Visión, Yoro – 10 May 2011 Henry Orlando Suazo, HRN, Atlantida – 28 December 2010 Israel Diaz Zelaya, Radio Internacional, Cortes – 24 August 2010 Luis Arturo Mondragon, Canal 19, El Paraiso –14 June 2010 Luis Chevez Hernandez, Radio W105, San Pedro Sula – 09 April 2010 Victor Manuel Juarez Vasquez, Canal 4 de Juticalpa, Olancho – 26 March 2010 Bayardo Mairena, Canal 4 de Juticalpa, Olancho – 26 March 2010 Nahum Palacios, Canal 5 de Aguan, Colon – 14 March 2010 David Meza, El Patio and Radio America, Atlantida – 11 March 2010 Joseph Hernandez, Canal 51, Francisco Morazan – 1 March 2010 Nicolas Asfura, Construction Company, Francisco Morazan – 17 February 2010 Gabriel Fino Noriega, Radio America, Atlantida – 3 July 2009 Osman Rodrigo Lopez, Canal 45, Francisco Morazan – 19 April 2009 Rafael Munguia, Radio Cadena Voces, Cortes – 1 April 2009 Bernardo Rivera Paz, Freelancer, Copan – 14 March 2009 Fernando Gonzalez, Radio Mega FM 92.7, Santa Barbara – 1 January 2008 Carlos Salgado, Radio Cadena Voces, Morazan – 18 October 2007 German Rivas, Corporacion Maya Vision Canal 7, Copan – 26 November 2003 To date, no one has been prosecuted for the above crimes Source: Honduras Human Rights Commissioner.

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