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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 97 / 153

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In theory, despite the continuing violence in the region, basic freedoms in Honduras are still intact. The press is privately owned and free of government censorship. There is, however, a quietly expressed concern about offending the government, and self-censorship is considered prudent. Moreover, it is an accepted practice in Honduras for government ministries and other agencies to have journalists on their payrolls.

In 1992, Honduras's three major workers' confederations convinced the private sector to raise the minimum wage by 13.7 percent, the third consecutive year of increases. Nevertheless, the minimum wage, which varies by occupation and location, is not adequate to provide a decent standard of living, especially in view of inflation.

The government is also confronted with the problem of an increasing flow of rural poor into the cities. Employment opportunities in rural areas have declined as landowners have converted cropland into pasture for beef cattle. But the new migrants have discovered that Honduras's commercial and industrial sectors are deep in recession and cannot provide adequate jobs.

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