Hivos partners Radio Progreso and COFADEH in Honduras have collaborated on the new documentary, “La ley del más fuerte” (The Law of the Strongest). The documentary is an in-depth account of the work of human rights defenders in Honduras, especially in the region of Bajo Aguán. It covers the challenges the defenders face in an environment marked by intimidation, physical attacks and the impunity that characterizes these violations.
After a three-year investigation on the events following the coup of June 2009, another Hivos partner, the Honduras Truth Commission, claimed that the regime of Roberto Michelleti and the current administration of Porfirio Lobo have used and continue to use terror as a means of social control.
Today, as shown in the documentary’s interviews, there is still widespread use of methods such as blacklists, unlawful surveillance, judicial harassment and threats to undermine or simply put an end to the defenders’ work. According to the Press Emblem Campaign, Honduras was the sixth most dangerous country in the world for journalists in 2012.
“The Law of the Strongest”, produced by Protection International, was launched in November 2012 in Brussels, followed by a debate with directors Pascale Boosten and Eric Juzen, and human rights defenders from Honduras, including Kenia Oliva, a representative of COFADEH (Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras). The documentary has now been subtitled in English (see right sidebar to watch).
Hivos has supported COFADEH since 1999 because it is one of the first Honduran organizations to fight against impunity and human rights violations, and has continued to do so for over 30 years. Their aim is to recover disappeared family members alive, as well as to promote education about human rights throughout Honduras.
‘The Commission of Truth’ has been a Hivos partner since 2010. Its publishes a report on human rights violations occurred during and after the coup in 2009. The Commission is made up of the six major Honduran human rights organizations and receives both financial and technical support from Hivos in its fight against impunity and human rights violations.
Our partner Radio Progreso is an example of the kind of alternative and independent media in the region supported by the Hivos Expression & Engagement programme. Radio Progreso serves freedom of speech by connecting up other alternative media with social and community organizations. It forms part of Hivos’ community radio network, along with three other partners in Honduras.