The murder of Honduran Judge Mireya Efigenia Mendoza Pena is another tragic reminder of the serious violence affecting the country, as judges and other legal professionals face reprisals for their work. Mendoza is the 64th legal professional who has been killed in Honduras since 2010. Freedom House calls on the Honduran government to take the necessary measures to ensure judges are protected from threats, intimidation, aggression and other forms of violence, so as to ensure the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
The environment for press freedom has deteriorated in Honduras in large part due to a violent and unstable climate, observed Viviana Giacaman, director for Latin America programs, in her testimony before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on July 25th.
Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defense, Media Freedom, Rule of Law, U.S. Foreign Policy
“Democratizing the media” is a common refrain in Latin America these days. It can be heard in weekly presidential “cadenas” and verbose diatribes during the biannual hearings of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). While the phrase may suggest a process that would lift restrictions on media and increase citizen access, it has been invoked to support policies that do the opposite, becoming a favorite slogan of the region’s least democratic leaders, chief among them Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.