Stories written by Thelma Mejía
Thelma Mejía has been working for IPS since 1987, when she started collaborating with the agency on subjects relating to childhood and gender. She took part in the Programa Especial de Cooperación Económica regional project, after which she was promoted to associate correspondent from Honduras. She became a full correspondent in 1994. Mejía has a degree in journalism and a master’s degree in political and social theory from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Honduras. She has worked as editor in chief of the daily Tegucigalpa-based El Heraldo and as a consultant on issue of governance, information access, political parties and mass media for the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the Centro de Competencias y Comunicación of the Friederich Ebert Foundation and various social organisations from Honduras. She is the author of several articles and of a book on journalism and political pressures. For more than five years, she has been a collaborator on the IPS environmental news service Tierramérica.

Honduras Shaken by High-Profile Murders

Honduran society remains shocked at the tragic fate of Aníbal Barrow, a journalist and university professor whose body was dismembered and scattered around a lake in Villanueva, in the northern province of Cortés.

Post-Coup Polarisation Marks Honduran Election Campaign

The unhealed wounds left by the 2009 coup in Honduras will continue to mark the campaign for the Nov. 24 elections, in which nine parties are participating, four of them new political groups, spanning a wide ideological range.

Tegucigalpa Learns to Live with Climate Challenges

In slums lining several hillsides in the Honduran capital, mitigation works are under way to protect the neighbourhoods from flooding and landslides, which completely obliterated several areas when Hurricane Mitch hit the country fifteen years ago.

HONDURAS: Activists Protest Lack of Transparency in Extractive Industry

The Honduran government’s announcement of its plans to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has raised expectations as well as doubts, particularly due to the speed with which it aims to complete a process that has taken several years in other countries of the region.

Cold War Policies Revived by Honduran Intelligence Law

The doctrine of national security imposed by the United States on Latin America, which fostered the dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s, is making a comeback in Honduras where a new law is combining military defence of the country with police strategies for maintaining domestic order.

Honduran Police Protest Crackdown on Corruption

Police officers in Honduras are protesting regulatory measures and aptitude tests implemented as part of reforms aimed at purging the police force of corruption and growing links to organised crime.

Garifuna Women, Custodians of Culture and the Environment in Honduras

Hurricane Mitch, which devastated Honduras 14 years ago, prompted a group of Garifuna women to start organising, to help the people in greatest need of assistance.

Honduran President Puts “Tigers” on the Streets

The Honduran government’s plan to create a new rapid response police force, as part of a strategy to militarise the fight against crime, is dangerously vague, experts say.

A photographer dives near a great hammerhead shark. Credit: Jim Abernethy - Courtesy of the Pew Environment Group

Honduras Committed to Protecting Marine Treasures

Honduras, in the heart of Central America, normally makes headlines for its political upheavals and violence. But sometimes there is good news, too. It is one of only a few countries with a shark sanctuary off its coasts, and it has just created a protected area around a reef of a coral species formerly on the brink of extinction.

Murder of Prominent Honduran Journalist “Sends a Terrible Message”

A few short hours after Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said he had seen evidence that Alfredo Villatoro, a radio reporter kidnapped May 9, was alive, the journalist’s body was found in a residential neighbourhood on the south side of the capital.

Honduran Government Seeks to Minimise Cost of Prison Fire

The government of Honduras hopes to reach friendly settlements with the families of inmates killed in the Comayagua prison fire, to avoid international lawsuits.

HONDURAS: Support for President Lobo Hits All-Time Low

Last Friday marked two years since the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo as president of Honduras, amidst accusations of corruption, an unprecedented crime wave, and his lowest approval rating yet.

HONDURAS: Pressed by the U.S., Lobo Amends Extradition Laws

Following a surprise meeting between President Porfirio Lobo and U.S. government officials, Honduran lawmakers voted to amend the constitution to allow extradition of its nationals.

HONDURAS: The Society of Fear

As the new year rolls in, Honduras is feeling more than ever the challenges posed by soaring rates of violent crime, police corruption, the penetration of the police by organised crime, and a wave of selective killings of journalists and experts in the fight against drugs.

HONDURAS: Indigenous Cooperatives Cultivate Success

Thanks to the quality and freshness of their produce, indigenous Lenca farmers in western Honduras are regular suppliers of seven supermarket chains. This year they won the National Environmental Prize, in the community initiatives category.

Honduran police officers. Credit: David Nallah/CC BY 2.0

HONDURAS: Purging Schools of Crime

Reports of a purported police network in Honduras engaged in murders, extortion, kidnapping, car theft and drug trafficking prompted the government to sack several high-level police officials and ask Congress for help in purging the police at all levels.

HONDURAS: Putting Defence In the Hands of Civilians

Prominent academics and activists say one of the main pending challenges in Honduras is a resumption of the demilitarisation of the country and the strengthening of civilian control over defence policy that was brought to an abrupt halt by the June 2009 coup d'etat.

HONDURAS: Cabinet Shake-Up Raises Questions on Influence of Cartels

The dismissal of Óscar Álvarez as minister of security in Honduras, after he proposed a bill that would have allowed him to purge the police force of corrupt elements, has raised suspicions about the political influence of drug cartels.

HONDURAS: Dying for Land

The deployment of large numbers of troops in the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras is reviving the age-old conflict over land in an area torn between organised crime groups capable of undertaking armed actions, wealthy landowners and peasants demanding further land reform.

Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) forest in Honduras.  Credit: User:BotBln –Creative Commons Licence

Fragmented Efforts to Save Honduran Mangroves

A mix of local and international initiatives are aimed at saving the mangrove forests and other coastal wetlands of Honduras, home to an abundance of marine life and a natural protective barrier against hurricanes, which have shrunk by over 80 percent on the Caribbean coast and almost a third on the Pacific coast.

Members of a black community on the Atrato river in Colombia. Credit: Jesús Abad Colorado/IPS

U.N. Development Goals Should Include Anti-Racism Targets

The first world summit of people of African descent, held in the city of La Ceiba on Honduras's Caribbean coast, ended with a declaration calling for the fight against racism to be included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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