Last week, at the Internet Freedom Festival in Valencia Spain, I was privileged to join a conversation lead by Latin American journalists and trainers discussing the importance of security in their work. Latin American trainers present spoke eloquently about the risks and their work supporting journalists in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
In 2014 the Committee to Protect Journalists reported about widespread impunity in the murder of journalists. Impunity has continued throughout last year, and even increased. The countries mentioned above may be the worst but are not the only countries in Latin America where murders of journalists routinely go unpunished.
The session invited participants to discuss not the risks to journalists, but instead the reasons why journalists need security. We approached the topic as journalists, considering the "5 W's of Journalistic Self-Protection."
While the session was advertised to be Spanish only, there was such a large turnout we hosted 5 breakout groups, two of which for English speakers. At the conclusion of the event, groups presented their report back on the reasons they discussed why, where, and when journalists need security, as well as how and what can be done to increase journalist security.
It was an engaging and valuable session, and it is especially important to bring the voices of journalists in Central America to the community of digital security and journalism trainers. I'm looking forward to hear more about their work, and discussing how Small World News can better support journalists in Central America to remain safe on the job. After the murder of two more journalists in Guatemala this week, it's clear that improving the security of journalists in Central America will remain a dire need for the foreseeable future.