The Day to End Impunity: Honduran Journalists & Canadian Relations

Over four years in Honduras, 23 journalists have been killed. Others face detention, censorship and intimidation. Journalists in Honduras criticize a culture of impunity in the government of Porfirio Lobo, the newly-elected president who has just cut a free trade deal with Canada. Critics say Canada should be using its clout to force the Honduran government to confront such killings and other human rights violations.

Part Three of The Current

The Day to End Impunity: Honduran Journalists & Canadian Relations

Journalists in many parts of the world face real danger for the things they write and say. The International Freedom of Expression Exchange calls today The Day to End Impunity. It's to honour the memory of murdered journalists and draw attention to a culture of impunity among those governments that seemingly allow their killers to go free.

In Honduras, twenty-three journalists have been killed in the past four years...sixteen since the coup that deposed the democratically-elected President in June of 2009. In October of that year we spoke with President Manuel Zelaya after he slipped back into Honduras and took refuge at the Brazilian embassy. We aired a clip.

Honduras was isolated by the international community after that coup and suspended from the Organization of American States. Many western nations do not recognize the 2009 presidential elections as legitimate. Honduras was allowed to return to the OAS, but tensions remain.

Hector Becerra is a Honduran journalist who works for C-Libre, or the Committee for Free Expression. Part of his work is to document, and alert the international community, about threats and attacks against journalists in Honduras. We heard from him. The United Nations is also concerned about journalists in Honduras. Frank La Rue is the UN's Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. He was in Guatemala City this morning.

The Day to End Impunity: Honduran Journalists & Canadian Relations

In August, Canada reached a free trade deal with Honduras. Both countries must still ratify the agreement, but when the Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Honduras this summer, he made it clear the deal wasn't to be based on trade alone.

When the new Honduran president, Porfirio Lobo, visited Washington it was US President Obama's turn to praise the man and his government. We aired a clip of
President Obama speaking at the White House in September.

Carlo Dade is the former Executive Director of the Canadian Foundation for the Americas. He's now a senior fellow at the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa. He was in Ottawa this morning.

We also requested interviews on this with Canada's International Trade Minister Ed Fast, and Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy. They were not available.

Music Bridge

Artist: Steve Dawson
Cd: We Belong to the Gold Coast
Cut: # 1, We Belong to the Gold Coast
Label: Black Hen
Spine: BHCD 0030

Last Word - Oil Promo & Game Changer Moment

In the days to come, The Current will wade into the debate on oil and gas drilling in The Gulf of St. Lawrence. Producer Lara O'Brien has been looking into this and found the plan has some high profile opponents. We heard from Lara with a bit about this upcoming story.

Also ... as part of our game changer project, we've heard from people who experienced one moment that completely changed the direction of their lives. Paralympian sprinter Earle Connor was already a medal-winner when he was set to compete in the 2004 Paralympic games. His game changing moment was upsetting, but only briefly derailed his ambition. He gets the Last Word today.

Other segments from today's show:

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