JULY 2009




15 July 2009

CAWN -- Central American Women's Network

The Central America Women’s Network (CAWN) is seriously concerned about violations of press freedom in Honduras by the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti in the wake of the coup d’état of 28 June 2009. In particular, we are concerned about the suppression of women’s voices in the country. Women organized themselves quickly after the coup to protest peacefully against it, forming a network called ‘Feministas en Resistencia’ (Feminists in Resistance), but have found themselves the target of censorship and repression. 

The following article gives some details about this and other incidents. Please publicize these events among your members and encourage them to use this article to increase the coverage of the Honduras coup in the UK and international press. The mainstream news media in Honduras are now heavily controlled by the de facto government and Hondurans are struggling to disseminate news about citizens’ resistance to the coup.

Women’s radio programmes silenced

The Honduran women’s organization Feminists in Resistance reported on Monday 13 July that the radio programme Bullaranga produced by CAWN’s partner organization in Honduras, the Honduran Women’s Studies Centre (CEM-H), and the regular radio programme of the Honduran Women’s Rights Centre, Tiempo de hablar, were blocked a few minutes after beginning transmission on the morning of Saturday 11 July. The slot allocated to these programmes transmitted by Radio Cadena Voces was still silent on Monday. Technicians at the radio station said they ‘did not know’ what had caused the gap in transmission.  

Feminists in Resistance has denounced this incident as a violation by the de facto regime of press freedom and freedom of expression. They express dears that if the eyes of the international community are turned away from Honduras – for instance by a lack of information from the country – the regime will not hesitate to step up repression against its opponents.    

Foreign journalists detained in Honduras

Also on Saturday 11 July, police operatives of the de facto government arrested a number of television journalists from the Venezuelan state television VTV and the news channel Telesur.

Telesur’s special correspondent in Honduras, Madeleine García, reported that a group of police, following orders from the de facto government, entered the Tegucigalpa hotel where the journalists were staying on Saturday night, arrested them and transferred them without explanation to a police station, where their documents were closely scrutinized.  

The journalists were released after diplomatic intervention by the Venezuelan government, but were warned by the police that they should leave the country and that ‘there’s nothing for you to do here’. ‘You’ve got your President Chávez to thanks for this,’ they were told, according to VTV reporter Eduardo Silvera; ‘get out of this country, it’s going to turn nasty.’ On the morning of Sunday 12 July their hotel was still surrounded by police, and the journalists only allowed to leave it under police guard. They were later deported to Venezuela.      

This is the second time Telesur reporters have been arrested: on 29 June soldiers forcibly detained a Telesur team which was covering army and police repression of a peaceful demonstration the day after the coup.

Other attacks on freedom of the press

Another human rights violation against a journalist was the arrest on 28 June of the Honduran cartoonist Allan McDonald. Soldiers broke into his home just outside Tegucigalpa and arrested him together with his small daughter, Abril, aged 17 months. They were released the following day, after international pressure. 

Allan McDonald was a regular contributor to the Honduran daily El Heraldo and other media, and had expressed his support for President Zelaya’s opinion poll scheduled for 28 June. According to a phone call he was able to make from the hotel in which he was detained, the soldiers ransacked his house and made a bonfire of his cartoons and art equipment. 

Two other Honduran journalists, Eduardo Maldonado y Esdras Amado López, were arrested at about the same time, and two women journalists from Spain and Chile were detained in the hotel to which McDonald was taken.

Telesur says that it and VTV are the only channels to be transmitting live coverage of the coup and the protests against it. The privately owned television and radio stations in Honduras are not transmitting any information about the coup. This lack of coverage of the coup by the mainstream national media also affects international reporting of the coup, which has on the whole been sparse and has not focused on the impact of the coup on Honduran citizens.

You can find out more about the impact of the coup on Honduran women and their active and courageous resistance to it on CAWN’s website, www.cawn.org.


You may use these audios, photos, but please cite as the source: 
Radio International Feminista/Feminist International Radio Endeavour (FIRE) at: www.radiofeminista.net

Usted puede utilizar las imágenes, textos y audios, citando la fuente
Fuente y autoría:  Radio Internacional Feminista/www.radiofeminista.net
 For more information: oficina@radiofeminista.net