PBI-Honduras accompanies Dina Meza to meetings with journalists in La Paz and Marcala

Published by Brent Patterson on

On July 12, the Peace Brigades International-Honduras Project posted, “Last week, we accompanied Dina Meza from Asopodehu in meetings with journalists in the cities of La Paz and Marcala in order to discuss topics related to #FreedomofExpression.”

Meza is a journalist in a country where it is known to be a dangerous profession.

At least 62 journalists were killed in Honduras between 2006 and 2017, making it one of the most dangerous countries in the world for reporters.

Journalists are also regularly threatened when they report on vested interests.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, who led a delegation of women including Sarah Harmer and Tantoo Cardinal to Honduras in 2012, highlighted this in her article about their visit to the site of the San Martin mine owned by Vancouver-based Goldcorp Inc.

Williams noted, “A few days before we arrived in Honduras, Gilda Carolina Silvestrucci — a local journalist who was talking to environmental activists about the problems with mining in the Siria Valley — received threats against her life and those of her children.”

And she noted, “A journalist in Santa Rosa de Copan, where the Canadian company Aura Minerals operates, also reported receiving threats for having reported on concerns over mining operations in the area.”

It is in this context that Meza also works as the director of Asopodehu (the Association for Democracy and Human Rights).

Asopodehu was founded in 2012 and its stated mission (translated from Spanish) is “to accompany victims of violations of their fundamental human rights, with emphasis on vulnerable groups: journalists, social communicators, women, youth, indigenous people, blacks and the community of sexual diversity.”

Al Jazeera has reported, “[Meza] has repeatedly suffered threats of sexual violence and against her life, as well as surveillance and other forms of intimidation, such as unusual late-night phone calls.” Threats have also been made against her children.

That article adds, “As a safety precaution, Meza often is flanked by a pair of international human rights observers provided by Peace Brigades International when she works in the field on investigations or reporting outside of the capital, Tegucigalpa.”

PBI has provided protective accompaniment to Meza since May 2014.

Meza has commented, “I can do my work only thanks to the support of PBI. If it wasn’t for the accompaniment I get, it would be much more difficult to do my job.”

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