York, June 15, 2010—An unidentified
attacker gunned down TV journalist Luis Arturo Mondragón late Monday night in
the city of El Paraíso, eastern Honduras,
according to local news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists today
called on Honduran authorities to fully investigate Mondragón’s killing, the seventh in the country this year.
Mondragón, 53, owner and news director for the cable television
station Channel 19, was shot to death as he left work at around 10 p.m. in El
Paraíso, near the border with Nicaragua.
A police spokesman quoted by the Tegucigalpa-based daily La
Prensa said Mondragón was shot four times. The journalist died at the
scene, the press reported.
Mondragón reported mainly local news, including government corruption,
environmental issues, and crime on the air.
A relative who spoke on condition of anonymity told CPJ that
the journalist had been receiving anonymous death threats by phone for the past
two years. Although the threatening messages were related to his work as a journalist,
his family member said, they did not specify any particular story. The police
have not identified any suspect nor disclosed any possible motive for the crime,
Said Alexander Espinal, an official at the state prosecutor’s office, told CPJ.
“Luis Arturo Mondragón is the seventh journalist killed in Honduras this year,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s Americas
program senior coordinator. “This is truly shocking. Only by prosecuting those
responsible for journalists’ murders will the authorities send a message that this
deadly onslaught against the press will not go unpunished.”
On April 20, TV host Jorge
“Georgino” Orellana was slain by an unidentified gunman in the city of San Pedro Sula. Unidentified
attackers gunned down journalists José
Bayardo Mairena and Manuel Juárez in the department of Olancho on March 27.
On March 14, journalist Nahúm
Palacios Arteaga was killed in the city of Tocoa,
while radio reporter David
Meza was slain in the city of La
Ceiba on March 11. On March 1, reporter Joseph
Hernández Ochoa was killed in Tegucigalpa
in a shooting that left another journalist seriously wounded.
CPJ is investigating whether these murders were related to
the journalists’ work.