On October 25, the President of the Journalists Association of Guatemala (Asociación de Periodistas de Guatemala, APG), Ileana Alamilla; the President of the Press Association of Honduras (Asociación de Prensa Hondureña, APH), Carlos Ortiz; and the President of the Journalists Association of El Salvador (Asociación de Periodistas de El Salvador, APES), Serafín Valencia; met in San Salvador, El Salvador to analyze the state of journalism in the Central America region.
At the conclusion of their meeting, the Presidents of the media associations issued a joint statement in which they highlighted the following key points:
- The safety and security of journalists in the region is often threatened by various actors, among which are criminal organizations and even state agents
- Risks to the safety and security of journalists in the region often lead to self-censorship
- Self-censorship itself is an impediment to the freedom of the press and freedom of expression
- Governments in the region should go beyond the recognition and adoption of legal instruments that upholds people’s right to information and freedom of expression to actually guarantee these universal rights
The Presidents of the media associations also proposed the following actions to confront the challenges that journalists in the region face:
- Promote the linkages between media organizations in the region
- Develop protection mechanisms to guarantee the safety and security of journalists
- Strengthen legal instruments and security protocols
- Practice responsible coverage of key topics, such as drug trafficking and gangs
This encounter took place within the framework of the Central American University’s Third Central American Congress on Communication. All three participating media associations are partners of Internews in its USAID-funded Promoting Journalism and Freedom of Expression Project, which seeks to enhance freedom of expression in the Northern Triangle region through empowering local journalists to develop high-quality investigative reporting that sparks dialogue about human rights violations, closing political spaces and other constraints to freedom of expression.
Read the joint statement in Spanish