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When Reporting the News Means Risking Your Life

When Reporting the News Means Risking Your Life

Honduran journalist Nahum Palacios Arteaga was shot dead while driving, receiving thirty bullets in his body. This is the third journalist that has died within two weeks in Honduras, the other two being David Meza Montesinos and Joseph Ochoa. None of the cases have been solved.

Honduras is going through a tumultuous time, to say the least. President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup last year, and although a new president was sworn in less than two months ago, violence and instability continue to plague the country.

Journalist Cesar Silva gave a fascinating interview where he describes how he and his news crew were captured the day the now deposed president was captured. He was released due to public pressure, but soon started to receive threats and was finally kidnapped. He suffered incredible torture, only to be dumped in a mountainous and isolated area. With the help of human rights organizations, he escaped Honduras and now lives in exile. He poignantly describes the most difficult part of living an exiled life:

Maybe it’s the hurry of leaving everything abandoned; your home, your family, the stuff you had a hard time sacrificing for…

The difficulty in arriving in the new place is getting rid of the hatred and to stop thinking of what you left behind. You have to live here as a ‘nobody’ so that no one can find you and you can avoid the risks. The dreams abandon you, the uncertainty eats you.

Journalists hold a great responsiblity in that they act as interpreters for the world, letting us know what is happening in our hometowns or on the other side of the world. What is truly stunning is that they can be perceived as so dangerous or threatening that they can risk being kidnapped, tortured or killed.

The day after Palacios Arteaga’s death, journalists in Honduras took to the streets to protest, calling for an end to violence and for justice for the three slain journalists. With the extreme risks they face, it’s admirable that Honduran journalists continue to speak out.

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52 comments

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3:48PM PDT on Apr 1, 2010

Very distressing and sad...

3:02PM PDT on Mar 29, 2010

the media is so controlled and censored, i know first hand well.

2:30PM PDT on Mar 29, 2010

I wish there was a way I could help these brave, noble journalists!

2:26PM PDT on Mar 29, 2010

I wish there was a way I could help these brave, noble journalists!

11:01AM PDT on Mar 29, 2010

Journalists are so brave in those places, a risky job; Free speech should be allow everywhere. Good for them, when walking the streets to protest and for speaking up to end violence. Good luck, and GOD bless them all.

7:57AM PDT on Mar 29, 2010

Wonderful article. Thank you Natasha.

11:38AM PDT on Mar 28, 2010

Sadly noted. What a shame on Honduras.

9:36AM PDT on Mar 28, 2010

This makes me so sad...You definitely know something is wrong and/or corrupt when people aren't even able to peacefully seek out the truth and present it to incite positive change.

12:49PM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

Journalists murdered or killed is a worldwide tragedy.. even in supposedly peaceful countries. They speak for freedom and justice. Sadly, there does not seem to be a follow-up after initial reports of a tragic killing / death of a journalist. Thank you for this article. May they find peace where ever these souls are.

8:22PM PDT on Mar 25, 2010

So sad and awful!It happends everywhere,in our great neighbour Russia,it is common. Last couple of years several brave journalist have been brutaly murded.Naturaly nobody has been found quilty for murders :( So speaking the truth can be dangerous.

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