In one of the most important Honduran government statements made to date, Palma argued that they must be innocent of any wrong-doing, because otherwise, they would not have the support they do from other nations:
The international community supports us because they have confidence in our government and they wouldn't have confidence in a government that represses.Taking a "one explanation covers everything" approach tailor-made to fit into the US State Department's own preferred narrative, Palma took UNESCO to task for blaming Honduras for endangering press freedom. He said, predictably, that it is drug violence that was responsible for the elevated number of deaths of reporters in Honduras in 2010 and 2011:
We only want the world to understand the critical situation in which we are living, with an enemy that's difficult to confront, a situation not of our making because we neither produce nor consume the huge quantity of drugs that pass through our country daily.
Palma went on to say that it's not just reporters that are being killed, but also prosecutors, judges, and other citizens. Notably absent from his list: university students, campesino activists, LGBT activists, and others who have been targets of deadly attacks over the same period.
His main point: to absolve the Lobo Sosa government of any responsibility; as he put it, "it's not the result of any internal policy". Good to know that murder of the citizenry is not Honduran government policy.
But neither, apparently, is it a government policy to solve those murders. And journalists are bearing a disproportionate measure of the deadly violence that the Lobo Sosa government has failed to investigate, and, many international human rights reports demonstrate, has actually promoted through both policy moves and investigative inaction.
The chilling of a free press in Honduras goes beyond assassination.
UNESCO reported that the work conditions of journalists in Honduras have seriously deteriorated over the last several years with "harassment, attacks and the murder of journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists," as well as the closing of opposition radio and TV stations, use of disproportional force against protesters, and blocking of the web pages of international media.
Palma simply rejected the report as "confusion generated by the complicated political situation" that arose out of the 2009 coup.
By Palma's logic, the US would never support a repressive government so there must be nothing they need to do differently. So much for the US State Department's assertion that it is working with that government to improve human rights.
Sounds like time to give some consideration to the opinions of US Senators and Congress members who are calling for putting real pressure on Honduras by withdrawing security aid, aid that is directly supporting a corrupt military and police, whose violations of law are never going to be investigated as long as the Honduran administration can say "they wouldn't have confidence in a government that represses".