Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Honduras
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||February 2008|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Honduras, February 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c56791b.html [accessed 21 October 2014]|
In May, CPJ wrote a letter to President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales expressing concern over his May 24 proclamation that all radio and television stations would be required to simultaneously broadcast interviews with public officials. Zelaya decreed that 10 official broadcasts would be aired in order "to counteract the misinformation of the news media" about his tenure in office, according to international press reports and CPJ interviews. Regulations established by the National Telecommunications Commission gave Zelaya the authority to pre-empt radio and television programming for emergency broadcasts. Honduran journalists and press freedom advocates said they believed Zelaya's May 24 order contradicted the Honduran constitution and violated the spirit of the American Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right "to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas."
Unidentified individuals shot and killed radio journalist Carlos Salgado on the afternoon of October 18 as he was leaving the offices of Radio Cadena Voces in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. Salgado, 67, host of the radio program "Frijol el Terrible," was known for his satirical criticism of the country's political system. His show mixed humor with coverage of everyday problems in Honduras. Local police arrested Germán David Almendárez Amador in late October after witnesses identified him as the gunman. Dagoberto Rodríguez, director of Radio Cadena Voces, told CPJ he believed the attack was retaliation for the station's investigative reporting on official corruption. Rodríguez said the station had been continuously harassed and threatened over two years. On November 1, Rodríguez himself fled the country after police said his name had appeared on a hit list.
Journalists killed in 2007 in Honduras
Carlos Salgado, Radio Cadena Voces
October 18, 2007, Tegucigalpa
Unidentified individuals intercepted Salgado, host of the radio program "Frijol el Terrible," as he was leaving the studios of Radio Cadena Voces at 4 p.m. The assailants shot Salgado at close range at least seven times and sped away in a gray Toyota 4Runner, according to witnesses quoted in local press reports.
Dagoberto Rodríguez, director of Radio Cadena Voces, said he believed the killing was in retaliation for the station's critical reporting on official corruption. The Honduran Commissioner of Human Rights, Ramón Custodio López, told CPJ no other motive had come to light. Police said Salgado's murder was unrelated to his work, but they did not disclose any other motives, local press freedom advocate Thelma Mejía told CPJ.
Salgado, 67, was noted for his satirical criticism of the country's political system, according to Rodríguez. His show combined humor with coverage of everyday problems, such as the prices of food and transportation. "Frijol el Terrible," which was on the air for more than 20 years, reached a nationwide audience, Rodríguez said. He described Salgado as respected by his colleagues and admired by his listeners.
Rodríguez told CPJ that Radio Cadena Voces had been harassed continuously for its reporting on government corruption. Over the last two years, he said, hackers had repeatedly erased information on the radio station's Web site, the staff had received anonymous telephone threats, and at least one journalist had been attacked by a local government official. Rodríguez and his family were themselves forced to flee Honduras on November 1, after police informed the journalist that his name had appeared on a hit list, Custodio told CPJ.
Sandra Aguilar, the victim's wife, described Salgado as a quiet man who divided his time between the radio station and his small study at home. Aguilar told CPJ her husband had never had problems or received any threats. Several days after Salgado's murder, hundreds of journalists protested in the streets of Tegucigalpa. They called on local authorities to ensure justice.
On October 26, authorities arrested German David Almendárez Amador after witnesses identified him as the gunman, the Tegucigalpa-based daily El Heraldo reported. Almendárez was not immediately charged but was placed in preventive detention. Almendárez and his family insisted that he was innocent and had an alibi, local news reports said.