CPJ blames Honduran government for rash of journalist killings

By Joseph Vavrus

A new report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says the government is “fostering a climate of lawlessness” that has led to the deaths of nine media workers this year, including seven in just two months.

Honduran security forces have not solved any of the crimes and have repeatedly said that the killings are unrelated to the victims’ journalistic work, writing them off as routine street crime. This, the CPJ says, has led many to believe the violence has either the tacit approval or direct involvement of government actors.

So who then is killing Honduran media workers? In the wake of last year’s coup, some opposition groups say that the journalists were killed for being “enemies of the state,” as part of a number of human rights violations directed at coup opponents. Others claim that it is an effort by private groups to repress the opposition that “the government can’t control or maybe doesn’t want to control.” The CPJ says that while it cannot confirm a conspiracy, it is clear that "impunity is killing journalists in Honduras... and impunity is a creation of government."

The full report, by Mike O’Connor, profiles the seven media workers killed between March and the middle of June. They have confirmed that three of those killings were related to the victims’ journalistic work.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.