In case you thought that the greatest threats to free speech in Latin America is coming from the leftist Maduro regime, Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez is showing that such repressive policies can be found on either end of the ideological spectrum. The Trump Administration supported Hernandez in his contested election despite widespread questions of election irregularities. Faced with various sites discussing these allegations, Hernandez’ government is pursuing a new and chilling law to criminalize any “hate campaigns” on the Internet. This is one of our closest allies in Latin America and it has set itself on the course of criminalizing political speech.
Lawmakers in Honduras are calling for fines of up to $43,000 against those running websites or social networks on which text encouraging “hate and discrimination” are posted. That would be a full-scale attack on free speech and the free press, leaving to the government to determine what is “hateful” or “discriminatory.” Given the focus on anti-Hernandez site, the prospects for human rights in Honduras is alarming.