Amsterdam, November 6, 2019 — Honduran authorities should conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the killing of journalist Buenaventura Calderón, determine if the attack was related to his reporting, and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On November 1, two unidentified individuals on a motorcycle shot Calderón, host of the “Ecos de la Mosquitia” daily news program on Catholic radio broadcaster Kupia Kumi, while he was driving with his wife in the city of Puerto Lempira, on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, according to news reports.
Calderón died on the scene, and his wife died in the hospital hours later, according to a report by Honduran daily El Heraldo. Police have opened an investigation into the killing, according to those news reports.
“Honduran authorities should thoroughly investigate the killing of Buenaventura Calderón and determine if it was linked to his reporting,” said CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick in New York. “Radio journalists are a vital source of information for isolated and rural communities in Honduras, and authorities must ensure any attempts to silence them do not go unpunished.”
Calderón often criticized local authorities in Puerto Lempira in his broadcasts, alleging corruption in education and healthcare services and highlighting impunity in investigations of drug trafficking cases, according to two individuals who knew Calderón and spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing safety concerns.
Calderón was also a businessman, president of the Puerto Lempira Board of Trustees, and a local representative for the Liberty and Refoundation (LIBRE) opposition political party, according to Honduran news website Notibomba.
CPJ repeatedly called the Honduran National Police at the numbers listed on its official websites for comment, but no one answered the calls.