New York, December 9, 2013–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities to launch a full investigation into the murder on Saturday of a Honduran journalist, identify a motive, and bring those responsible to justice.
The body of Juan Carlos Argeñal Medina was found inside his home in the city of Danlí in El Progreso state with at least two bullet wounds in the head, according to news reports. Authorities told reporters they believed Argeñal was home alone when the gunmen entered the house.
Argeñal owned the Christian station Vida Televisión as well as an entertainment company. He was also the local correspondent for the television network Globo.
David Romero, director of Globo TV and radio, told the international news agency Agence France-Presse that Argeñal had been threatened in the past for revealing corruption at a local hospital in reports for Globo TV. The AFP report did not offer further details.
Argeñal was also a supporter of Libre, the political party of Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, who has contested the results of the November 24 presidential elections, which the electoral court said she lost, the local press reported. Globo was the target of serious attacks and multiple broadcasting disruptions after reporting critically on the aftermath of the 2009 military ouster of former President Manuel Zelaya, Castro’s husband.
“We call on Honduran authorities to fully investigate this murder, including a motive related to journalism, and bring those responsible to justice,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior Americas program coordinator. “As Honduras faces political tension resulting from the November presidential elections and prepares for a new administration, authorities must ensure that journalists can report the news and without the violent reprisals they faced after the events of 2009.”
A climate of violence and widespread impunity has made Honduras one of the most dangerous countries in the region, according to CPJ research.