Official name: Republic of Honduras
Area: 112,492 km²
Residents: 9.23 million (2019)
Growth of population: 1.27% (2019)
Seat of government: Tegucigalpa
Official language (s): Spanish
Regional languages: Indigenous languages, Garífuna and Creole English
According to ehistorylib, Honduras is one of the smallest and most populous countries in Latin America. With 112,492 square kilometers it is about a third of the area of Germany, but only about a tenth of the population (approx. 9.23 million). The population density is around 80 residents per square kilometer.
Honduras is bordered by Guatemala to the west, El Salvador to the southwest and Nicaragua to the east. Together with Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, Honduras forms the Central America sub-region (which, depending on the context, also includes Belize and Panama) and takes part in the process of Central American integration (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana SICA).
The freedom of the press and information is (at least until the coup in 2009) restricted less by direct state intervention than by the oligopoly-like ownership structure of the media organs. The owners of the nationwide daily newspapers, radio and television stations are either politicians themselves (ex-President Carlos Flores owns the daily La Tribuna, among others) or are closely interwoven in their interests. Daily newspapers with nationwide distribution are El Heraldo, La Prensa, and El Libertador. The Tiempo newspaper was discontinued as a print medium in October 2015 in connection with the liquidation of Banco Continental.
Journalists are made compliant through corruption or reprisals (e.g. dismissals). Critical radio and television stations are being reprimanded through the licensing of the state authority CONATEL, as happened with the TV station Globo in connection with the IHSS scandal and is currently happening with the communitarian radio Waruguma of the garifuna organization OFRANEH.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Honduras has been one of the most dangerous countries for journalists since the 2009 coup. On their ranking for press freedom, Honduras has slipped two places compared to the previous year and is now 148th (2020) out of 180 countries. More than 50 journalists have been murdered since the coup.
With the reform of the penal code, which is due to come into force in May 2020, freedom of the press will be further restricted. “Offenses against honor” criminalize journalists who make critical statements about people or companies and thus prevent free expression of opinion.
A group of critical and independent journalists called C-Libre advocates more freedom of the press and information on a political and social level and provides up-to-date information on this topic. Small free radio stations (radios comunitarios) are important for alternative reporting. Of the alternative media, the Jesuit-run Progreso Radio is of great importance. Online newspapers are conexihon, confidencialhn, Hondudiario, criterio and Proceso Digital. The English language weekly newspaper Honduras This Week and the news site Honduras News often offer interesting information and assessments.
Telecommunication and internet
Telecommunications: The country code for Honduras is 00504. There are no other area codes (for cities or regions).
An overview of the telecommunications sector here.
Efforts to privatize the fixed line sector have so far failed because of the high investment sums that would be required to make the hitherto state-owned telephone company Hondutel profitable. Since a change in the law in 2003, Hondutel has been granting licenses to private (sub) companies. This enabled the number of landline connections to be increased considerably. Critics complain that this is a kind of “privatization through the back door”. Customers who can afford it switch to the services of the three private mobile phone providers: Tigo (behind this is the multinational Millicom International Cellular SA, headquartered in Luxembourg), Claro(a company owned by the Mexican multibillionaire Carlos Slim) and Digicel. Before buying a cell phone, you should inquire about the range of the network, the reception is very different depending on the part of the country. Since the summer of 2007, the state Hondutel has also been offering the “Tegucel” mobile service in the urban area of Tegucigalpa (also in San Pedro Sula “Sulacel” and in La Ceiba “Ceibacel”). Incidentally, you cannot call Tigo or Claro cell phones from public telephone boxes operated by Hondutel. The authority CONATEL (Comisionado Nacional de Telecomunicaciones) is responsible for regulating the telecommunications industry.
Connections are available in urban areas from different providers with different levels of service. Some providers can be found here.
Post: The Honducor state post office is often in financial straits and offers poor service (long transport times, risk of mail items “disappearing”). Those who can somehow afford it use private courier services.