Honduran journalist gunned down in front of home

New York, December 30, 2010–Honduran radio reporter and cable news presenter Henry Suazo was shot to death Tuesday morning as he was leaving his home in La Masica, a town in Atlántida province, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Honduran authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the killing. 

Two unidentified gunmen fired multiple times at Suazo, correspondent for Tegucigalpa-based Radio HRN and news presenter for Cablevisión del Atlántico, and then fled on bicycles, the Tegucigalpa-based daily El Heraldo reported. Investigators from the provincial capital, La Ceiba, are in charge of the case.

Suazo covered a variety of topics in the towns of San Juan Pueblo and La Masica. El Heraldo reported that Suazo had been threatened in the past. CPJ is investigating the circumstances to determine whether the killing was related to Suazo’s work. Eight other Honduran journalists have been murdered since March 2010, at least three in direct reprisal for their work, CPJ research shows.

In July, a CPJ special report found a pattern of botched and negligent investigative work in the killings, all of which are unsolved. Government officials have sought to minimize the crimes and play down the pervasive climate of impunity in the country, Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas, wrote on the CPJ Blog in August.

“CPJ calls on Honduran authorities to thoroughly investigate Suazo’s killing and bring all those responsible to justice,” Lauría said today. “The failure to solve the rash of murders this year suggests either indifference or incompetence on the part of Honduran officials. This record is having a devastating impact on the ability of journalists to cover the news.”