United States funds security-training center for Central American journalists

The Central American University of El Salvador established a specialized security-training center for journalists with financial support from the United States government, reported the news agency Agence-France Presse.

The Regional Security Training Center for Journalists aims to develop 10 workshops each year with the participation of 20 to 25 journalists from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, added AFP.

The center opened on Tuesday, March 30, with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Jane Zimmerman, who said that journalists should be able to express themselves without fear and that this freedom is central to democracy, reported the website Cerigua.

Experts in physical and digital security will train journalists how to work safely in dangerous environments and lead programs on mental health to help reduce stress, reported the news agency EFE and the newspaper El Salvador.

The center will also offer assistance to journalists who receive death threats, are being followed, are jailed or kidnapped. Journalists can also get personalized security plans, if needed, added EFE.

This is the first center of its kind in the Americas, preceded by two others in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Nairobi, Kenya, thanks to $1 million investment, reported the agency.

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.