Central America: The Life of a Journalist

María del Carmen Aguilera García


Carmen Aguilera García, from Honduras, lives in the Bonn area, Germany. She is – after different baby breaks – studying political and administrative science at UNED (Spanish University for Distance Education). She has also a Spanish and German blog under  https://mariaaguiler.wordpress.com/

The life of a journalist can often be difficult in some countries and this is especially applicable to such Central American countries as Mexico and Honduras. The number of the journalists who lost their lives because of their professional work is internationally rather high. To this end it is worth observing the human rights breaches in the above mentioned countries.

The reality is very clear, i.e. being a journalist means to face both the good and bad sides of the work, which many do for passion. Problems can emerge when their research, investigations and findings bring forward something inappropriate, in the eyes of other persons.

In recent years Honduras has passed the limit of the killed journalists. According to the report by „Periodismo humano“ in August 2013 Honduras had more than 29 killed journalists and as the calculations of September 9, 2014 indicate, more than 37 jo

Journalists were killed since 2003. As of 2015, in total more than 51 journalist were killed, including Herlyn Espinal. As security minister Arturo Corrales says, journalism is one of the most dangerous professions in Honduras.

It can be noted that Mexico has the same problem. As such, according to reports from the Mexican Human Rights Commission (CNDH), in the period from 2010 to 2015 more than 97 journalists were killed.  Unfortunately some of the cases are almost never revealed and this challenges the journalists’ right of expression.

The newest figures on the past year: „The year 2014 has been the second deadliest  year  for journalists during the past decade: 138 media workers were killed in the line of duty in 32 countries. The most dangerous countries in 2014 were  Syria (19 killed), Gaza (16), Pakistan (12), Iraq (10), Ukraine (9), Mexico (8), Afghanistan (7), Honduras (6), Somalia (5), Brazil (5), and Central African Republic (4).

Middle East was on the top of the list, with 52 journalists killed, followed by Asia with 32, Latin America with 29, Sub-Saharan Africa with 15 and Europe 10.

The situation is deteriorating rather than improving. As of today, 33 journalists have already been killed in 2015, which represents a significant increase compared to the same period of last year, with 12 more killed in only 2 months and a half.“[1]

Unfortunately, in many of these countries basic human rights are not respected. While some of them have signed treaties on human rights, in reality they hardly ensure their implementation, among them being the right to life and freedom of expression. „In reference to the first article„, there must be equal rights and respect to dignity for all human beings. States must ensure respect, protection and force of human rights:

„Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. Among them is Article 3, 5 and 19″:

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Valuing and fulfilling the signed agreements is a warrant that people will give their vote of confidence for a politician and government in favor of this, and that human rights are respected.

[1] See also: http://www.pressemblem.ch/10399.html. Extracts from: 17.03.2015. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL – 28th session – PEC statement delivered on situations that require the Council’s attention – PEC requires the Human Rights Council to send a very strong message to all criminals that there would be no impunity for perpetrators of crimes against the freedom of expression; General  Assembly, Human Rights Council, 28th session – Item 4 – Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention, General  Debate


2 Gedanken zu “Central America: The Life of a Journalist

  1. […] Carmen Aguilera García, from Honduras, lives in the Bonn area, Germany. She is – after different baby breaks – studying political and administrative science at UNED (Spanish University for Distance Education). She has also a Spanish and German blog under https://mariaaguiler.wordpress.com/,   http://www.eufaj.eu/ and in https://libertasblogs.wordpress.com/…/central-america-the-…/ […]

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