Latin America and Caribbean editor of Associated Press, Mexico, Majorie Miller, believes Honduras is the murder capital of the world, both per capita and in terms of journalist killings. Miller was part of a panel at yesterday’s International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress which discussed “Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela: The big three and their impact on press freedom in the region”. The three-day conference is being held at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. “I am very worried about that country and my colleagues in that country,” Miller said. She spoke specifically about press freedom in Cuba, saying, while there was currently no press freedom in that country she believed it would eventually change.
She said journalists were under survelliance from the government there. The two newspapers in the country carry content disseminated from the government and there was no free exchange of ideas, Miller added.
She said there were bloggers in the country but they usually acted as opinion journalists as opposed to providing a balanced report. Even foreign media, such as BBC, CNN and AP who have outlets there, she added, were restricted by lack of access to information and officials. Requests for information, she said, have to go through the government and they usually received five per cent of the requests for interviews after the stories/articles would have already been written or produced.
But even though they were heavily monitored and regulated, she said, there was little threat of violence. On Honduras, she said there was an emergency situation where 25 journalists have been killed in a country with a population of approximately eight million. She said journalists in Mexico have become war correspondents. She said the disappearances of journalists have been occurring since 2003. She said that was becoming worse since drug cartels often told journalists what they could and could not publish.