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Honduras has been a deadly country for journalists this year (see SchNEWS 712) with two more slain last week. Local radio journalists Bayardo Mairena and Manuel Juarez were ambushed and shot dead in cold-blood from close range in eastern Honduras.

Five journalists were gunned down in the last month, making it the second most dangerous place for journos in the Western Hemisphere, after Mexico. Although some of these murders have been attributed to organised crime, others targeted those reporting on opposition to the government of Porfirio Lobo.

The Honduran media continue to be on the end of post-coup repression. There is concern about recent threats against the staff of Radio Uno, a privately-owned opposition station in San Pedro Sula. Despite being in the army’s sights since last June’s coup d’état, it continues to take risks by covering human rights violations.

The Lobo government has signalled where its loyalties lie, appointing retired army general Romeo Vásquez Velásquez as head of the national telecommunications company Hondutel. This man played a key role in last year’s coup which saw repeated attacks on opposition media by the military.

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