Honduran journalists hold “demonstration of silence” to demand justice for slain colleagues

Depicting a funeral march, dozens of Honduran journalists marched with at least 60 symbolic coffins to the public prosecutor’s office in Tegucigalpa to demand justice for the deaths of journalists that have occurred in the country in recent years, reported newspaper El Heraldo.

In the silent protest against violations to freedom of expression, called the “Demonstration of Silence,” the marchers showed on the white cardboard coffins the faces of each one of the more than 60 journalists killed because of their profession in Honduras since 2003, reported lainformacion.com.

We ask that impunity is reduced and that these murders are solved, and also that a specialized unit for investigation of the crimes against freedom of expression is strengthened or created,” said Wendy Fúnez, representative of the freedom of organization C-Libre, said to El Heraldo.

The director of this organization, Edy Tábora, said that C-Libre recorded, to date, 1,200 attacks against freedom of expression in Honduras, reported El Heraldo.

Tábora also said to agency AFP that, to date, only six of these 63 cases of journalists and media workers killed since 2003 were prosecuted.

According to the 2015 annual report from the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), between 2003 and 2014, 50 murders of communicators and media workers were recorded in Honduras. And during the first six months of 2015, at least eight journalists were killed for reasons that have not yet been clarified.

The IACHR report said that there is a “high risk” to the life and integrity of communicators that “exercise critical journalism and who are critical of governments following the 2009 coup d’etat,” especially for those who practice their profession in rural areas of Honduras.

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.