A third roundtable discussion on journalism safety has been held in Honduras, as a result of support by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The meeting on 28 September in Catacamas, department of Olancho, gathered 20 local journalists to discuss the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, the freedom of expression situation in the area, alert systems and security protocols.
Violence against journalists has been a problem in the media landscape in Honduras. According to the National Commission of Human Rights, 97% of cases of journalists and lawyers killed in the country since 2009 remain unpunished. A total 29 journalists have been murdered over this period.
The Catacamas roundtable follows earlier ones in Tegucigalpa and La Ceiba, arranged by C-Libre, the press-freedom NGO that won an IPDC grant to promote the Network of Alerts and Protection of Journalists and Social Communicators (La Red de Alertas y Protección a Periodistas y Comunicadores Sociales), known as RAPCOS.
The round table in the capital Tegucigalpa in June 2013 gathered representatives of national media and international organizations. It was followed by the round table in the city of La Ceiba, on 26 and 27 July 2013 where 46 journalists and media workers had a 16-hour brain-storming session, to find ways to exercise their profession without fear. Proposed measures called for improving safety-awareness through training, changes to the legislative framework and more effective coordination mechanisms.