Honduras is the third worst country for press freedom in Latin America, only rated higher than Venezuela and Cuba, according to the findings of Freedom of the Press 2013. Freedom House and the Metropolitan University of Honduras in Tegucigalpa hosted an event on May 22 to present the findings of Freedom of the Press 2013 to Latin American audiences.
This Sunday, Ecuadorians will go to the polls to choose a president in what is expected to be a landslide reelection victory for President Rafael Correa. Pollsters predict that Correa will win by as many as 40-50% over the leading opposition candidate, Guillermo Lasso, the former head of the Ecuadorian bank, Banco de Guayaquil. Correa’s PAIS party is also likely to win an overwhelming majority of the 137 National Assembly seats, which will be contested on the same day. While Correa’s victory will serve to reinforce the global perception that he is an immensely popular president, there is a far darker reality: Correa has managed one of Latin America’s largest democratic declines in recent decades.
Freedom House is alarmed by the ongoing crackdown on the media in Honduras; on February 5, journalist Cesar Silva and cameraman Samuel Aguilera from the television station Globo TV were attacked by participants of a transportation protest that they were reporting on near the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa. Authorities must conduct a thorough investigation into the attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The world was outraged when a 14-year-old girl in Pakistan was shot in the head last week simply for being an ardent advocate for the right of girls to an education. Unfortunately, Malala's case is not an isolated one. In most parts of the world today, individuals and organizations working to advance social, political, and environmental justice face imminent danger as a result of their work. In the past two months alone, a 70-year-old activist in Cambodia was sentenced to 20 years in prison because he challenged the government's policy of confiscating local land for powerful corporate interests; in southern India, police used live ammunition on villagers protesting against a proposed nuclear power plant; a human rights lawyer opposing the creation of special economic development zones was shot dead in Honduras; and in the United Arab Emirates, an outspoken critic of inhumane treatment of political prisoners was assaulted in the street twice and faced government surveillance.