MIAMI, Florida (March 8, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed its concern and condemnation of a continuing wave of violence being unleashed against journalists in Honduras and called once again on the Central American nation’s government to act to prevent and investigate such incidents and bring those responsible to justice.
Reporter Mavis Ethel Cruz Zaldívar filed a formal complaint with the Honduras Public Ministry that she had received death threats made in an anonymous telephone call to her husband, the also journalist Carlos Arturo Rodríguez. She said that she was in addition threatened with “ending the life of their son” over news commentaries aired in their program on the San Pedro Sula radio station Radio Libertad. She added that in recent years she had been harassed by still active state security agents in connection with her work.
In another development, last week the bodies of three people who had been shot at point-blank range were discovered on a street near San Pedro Sula. One of the victims was student and journalist Saira Fabiola Almendares Borjas, 22. The motives for the crime were not immediately known.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, recalled that the organization “has repeatedly urged the Honduras federal government to conduct more investigations into crimes against journalists and take action to prevent violence against members of the press and media outlets.”
During a meeting with President Porfirio Lobo late last month IAPA President Milton Coleman, senior editor of The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., asked him to act to protect the press and combat the impunity surrounding crimes against journalists. In the last 15 months 18 of them have been killed in Honduras. Their deaths continue to go unpunished.
The IAPA’s Impunity Project, which is carried out with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has as its mission combating violence against journalists and reducing the impunity that surrounds the majority of such crimes. www.impunidad.com.