78th General Assembly

October 27 – 30, 2022

Madrid, Spain


Within the first few months, president Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento's government fulfilled one of the campaigns promises by repealing - on March 1 - the Law for the Classification of Public Documents Related to National Security and Defense - known as the Secrecy Law.

The legislation, passed in 2014, prevented citizens from finding out about government purchases carried out with neither transparency nor public bidding. It also hindered access to public information, as it allowed more than 20 ministries and government offices to classify information as restricted, confidential, secret and top secret for periods of 5, 10 and up to 25 years.

Two journalists were murdered during this period.

On October 10, Edwin Josué Andino - producer of channel La Tribuna TV (LTV), in Tegucigalpa - was murdered. Armed men dressed in police uniforms dragged Andino and his father out of their home and then killed them. The body of Andino, 23, was found in his underwear on a street in Colonia Villafranca de Comayagüela and showed a gunshot wound to the face at point-blank range. His father's body was found on a street in another neighborhood of the capital.

On May 29, journalist and cameraman Ricardo Ávila, 25, died after being attacked four days earlier by men who shot him in the head while he was riding his motorcycle. Ávila directed the program "Fin de Semana" - of Metro TV Noticias, and Radio Metro in the city of Choluteca. Police initially assumed an attempted robbery; however, the Committee for Freedom of Expression (C-Libre) revealed that Metro staff had received frequent threats over their editorial policy and that the victim wasn't stolen a considerable sum of money or other valuables after the attack.

In this period the Protection System for Journalists, Human Rights Advocates, Social Communicators and Justice Operators has been jeopardized. The new Secretary of State for Human Rights, Natalie Roque, dismissed nearly all the staff - putting at risk the lives of 158 people (12 journalists) protected under this system. The system was created in response to the UN and the Organization of American States (OAS) demands given the vulnerability faced by journalists, human rights advocates and justice operators. On August 23, IAPA asked the government to reconsider the changes implemented.

The Cabinet recently created the General Office of Information and Press, which will be in charge of developing and implementing the government's information and press strategy. The decree was published on September 19 in La Gaceta - the official gazette. In one of its articles, it establishes: "to permanently monitor and evaluate all conventional and alternative media operating in the country, as well as the social networks operating in the country. For this purpose, it may carry out or contract metrics, surveys, opinion studies or others."

In the current administration there has been a marked confrontational posture of various secretaries of state and public officials toward sectors representing the citizenry. There have been accusations regarding attempts by the public authorities to violate fundamental rights.

Several journalists were victims of aggressions by public employees and activists of the official party - Libre Party.

Journalist Alex Cáceres denounced a beating by a member of the Libre Party commandos - who have seized public institutions and are causing chaos on the highways and streets of cities throughout the country. Also, several channels and media outlets supportive of the current government have received threats.

Journalist Esdras Amado López - owner of Canal 36 Cholusat Sur - denounced that the national government wants to shut down the signal of his channel.