Radio journalist murdered in Tegucigalpa

New York, October 19, 2007—Unidentified individuals shot and killed Honduran radio journalist Carlos Salgado Thursday afternoon as he was leaving the offices of Radio Cadena Voces in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. The Committee to Protect Journalists is investigating whether Salgado’s murder is linked to his work as a journalist.

Salgado, 67, host of the radio program “Frijol el Terrible,” left the station’s studio at 4 p.m. after recording his show, which combines news and humor. Two individuals intercepted Salgado and shot him at close range, the local press reported. The assailants fled in a gray Toyota Four Runner, according to witnesses cited in press reports.

Dagoberto Rodríguez, director of Radio Cadena Voces, believes the attack was retaliation against the station’s investigative reporting on official corruption.

Honduran police have produced sketches of the suspects and claim to have identified one of them, said Héctor Mejía, a local police spokesman. Mejía told CPJ that investigators are looking into Salgado’s work as a possible motive. Police have not disregarded the journalist’s personal life as a reason for the killing.

“We are saddened by the death of Carlos Salgado and send our condolences to his family and friends,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “We call on the Honduran authorities to investigate his killing and immediately bring all those responsible to justice. In a country saddled with economic hardship, Salgado’s use of humor to explore political issues resonated with his listeners.”

“Frijol el Terrible,” which has been on the air for more than 20 years, reaches a wide audience throughout Honduras, said Rodríguez. The show covers everyday problems like the prices of food and transportation, local press freedom advocate Lenina Meza told CPJ. The journalist was also known for his satirical criticism of the country’s political system, according to Rodríguez.