By AXEL TURCIOS
The practice of journalism in Central America has become more than a career choice, it is considered more of an attempt to find death in an intellectual way.
My country, Honduras, is not an exception for journalists, who fight for exposé of political corruption as well as other internal problems. While working towards the truth, these professionals put not only their lives, but also the lives of their families, at high risks.
Ramón Custodio, Honduran Human Rights commissioner, expressed his concern about the impunity that keeps the murders of 35 people linked to the news media recorded at their institution between 2003 and so far this year, only two of such cases have come to judgment.
According to the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice (a private organization and part of the Mexican Employers’ Association), for the second year in a row, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, remains at the top spot as the most violent city in the world, with 169 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
Such a ranking brings up the question of what is Porfirio Lobo, president of Honduras, doing to address the criminal crisis?
Juan Ramón Mairena, president of the Honduran College of Journalism, mentioned his sorrow towards the incompetence from President Lobo’s government to complete their promises to implement a protection program mainly targeted for journalists.
In the past year, President Lobo has maintained a confrontation with different media outlets, especially with the ones that criticize his administration by pointing out his security, economic and social failures.
One of the main causes for deaths in the Latin America country is the constant fight among the drug cartels and politicians who are related to extortion, corruption and money-laundering schemes.
A mass communication career is very difficult in a nation where drug trafficking has influenced many people to begin campaigns to stop journalists from denouncing the corrupt.
Journalists, in their attempt to portray the reality of things, lose their fear and end up throwing themselves into the enemy’s claws.
Believe it or not, if I had to live in Honduras again, my passion for journalism would still be the same. In other words, I’d still choose to communicate with others regardless the risks to which I would be exposed.
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