Luis Arturo Mondragón, 9th Journalist killed in Honduras in 2010

Posted on June 15, 2010


Luis Arturo Mondragón

Luis Arturo Mondragón

Tegucigalpa. The Honduran journalist, Luis Arturo Mondragón(53), was shot and murdered on Monday night, according to the announcement made on Tuesday by Security Minister, Oscar Alvarez.

Mondragón, who worked as news director of Channel 19 from the local cable company, was attacked at around 22:00, when he was sitting with his son on the sidewalk in front of his home, minutes after he had finished his program in the city of El Paraíso, 110 kilometers east of Tegucigalpa, according to the data available for now.

According to the minister, the journalist, the eight assassinated this year in the country, received four shots. “We have preliminary evidence given by his brother, Gustavo Mendoza, where he already holds the person directly responsible for the crime (…), a very important coffee grower from the area”.

According to newspaper “La Prensa”, who quotes the victim’s relatives, the journalist had already received threats for criticizing several local public officials and congressmen for acts of corruption.

With his death, there are already 9 murdered journalists in Honduras this year, the last one on April 20th. On February 18, journalist Nicolás Asfura, 42 years old, was found dead bound hand and foot in the bathtub of his home. Afterwards, on March 1, Joseph Hernández Ochoa (26) was shot around 50 times when he was driving his vehicle and TV host Karol Cabrera was injured.

On March 11, David Meza (51) was shot. He worked as a correspondent of Channel 10. Three days later, on March 14, Nahúm Palacios Arteaga (34) was murdered also when he was driving his car. The other Honduran journalists who have been murdered during this year are Georgino Orellana (on April 20), Luis Chévez Hernández (April 11), Bayardo Mairena and Manuel Juárez (March 26).

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) had requested protection for Palacios Arteaga last year after he received threats from the military after the coup d’état.He was also covering the conflict in the region of Bajo Aguán, where peasants and powerful industrial agri-business landowner, Miguel Facussé, dispute land ownership.

Journalist Bayardo Mairena(52) and his assistant Manuel Juárez (54) were murdered on March 26 while they traveled inside a vehicle.

On April 11, TV host Luis Chévez Hernández (23), a radio host who worked for Radio W105 in San Pedro Sula was assassinated. Finally, on April 20, journalist Georgino Orellana (48), was shot when leaving the facilities of the TV station where he worked.

The special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Catalina Botero, pointed out on April 24 that the institution had already “denounced the crimes and had exhorted the State” to take the necessary measures to “investigate and judge the people who committed” the murders, so that for once and for all the press can perform their job in a “free and uninhibited way”

Botero regretted that there are still no “results of investigations”: “The special rapporteur has said that it is very important that there is a media diversity, so that the audience, the society can be informed and does not only have one sole vision of the world”, she added.

After the coup d’état on June 28 2009, where president Zelaya was kidnapped and ousted, the country saw itself sunk in a constitutional crisis and freedom of expression collapsed as the military raided and censored media outlets critical of the de facto government, which are still constantly receiving threats like Radio Progreso and Radio Uno.

Recently Radio La Voz de Zacate Grande, critical of the coup and where like in the Lower Aguán region a land conflict also involving Miguel Facussé takes place, was attacked by a contingent of 300 soldiers and police

Óscar Álvarez, Security Minister, has specified that the murdered reporter had already been denounced for stealing livestock and committing rape, informed local media. Álvarez has also repeatedly denied in previous occasions that any of the murders is related to the journalists’ work, notwithstanding the lack of investigation and results from part of the authorities and has previously requested journalists “to be prudent and to act with cautiousness in the carrying out of their duties”.

SOURCE: Europa Press/TeleSUR

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