Miami (March 4, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed its pleasure at the repeal of a law that allowed Honduran administrations to govern without transparency and in an oppressive culture of secrecy.
The National Congress on March 1 repealed the 2014 Law for the Classification of Public Documents Related to National Security and Defense, known as the Secrets Law. The law allowed more than 20 state secretariats and public institutions to hide tenders, administrative processes, and budget management information. In addition, in a discretionary manner, public agencies could classify such information as reserved, confidential, secret, and top-secret for five to 25 years.
IAPA President Jorge Canahuati, CEO of Grupo Opsa of Honduras, welcomed the decision of the congressional representatives. But, he said, "Citizens and the country gain when governments are more transparent, and the press can better supervise all those matters with which the political powers could try to keep the public in the dark."
The president of the Commission on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, executive editor of the Argentine daily La Voz del Interior, said, "The law allowed endorsing the culture of state secrecy and contradicted the principles established in the Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information of 2006."
The law's repeal will become effective as soon as it is published in the official newspaper La Gaceta. With this, all information covered by the old law will have to be declassified.
Both the Chapultepec Index, IAPA's press freedom barometer, and the organization's biannual reports since 2014 have been denouncing that the Secrecy Law violated the access law and allowed covering up corruption.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.