Police are seen in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on February 15, 2022. Police recently arrested two suspects after a man shot at the office of broadcaster Radio Globo. (AP/Elmer Martinez)

Police make 2 arrests after alleged gang members shoot at Radio Globo newsroom in Honduras

Guatemala City, March 15, 2022 — Honduran authorities should swiftly and transparently investigate the recent attack on Radio Globo’s office and ensure that the perpetrators are held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.

At about 3 p.m. on March 7, a man on a motorcycle fired multiple gunshots at the broadcaster’s office in Tegucigalpa, the capital, according to news reports and Radio Globo Director Hector Amador, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview.

Amador said that he was in the station’s parking lot when he heard the shots, which destroyed several windows of a neighboring shop but did not hit the office itself, which is on the building’s second floor.

No one was injured in the attack, Amador said. He added that police arrested one suspect on the night of March 7, and a second suspect, the alleged gunman, on March 8. Police have accused both men of being members of a local gang, according to those news reports.

“Honduran authorities must fully investigate the recent attack on Radio Globo, determine its motive, and bring all the perpetrators to justice, including whoever orchestrated the attack,” said Natalie Southwick, CPJ’s Latin America and the Caribbean program coordinator, in New York. “Radio Globo staff members were fortunate that nobody was hurt, but they must be able to work without fearing for their lives. Honduran authorities must show that such a brazen attack in broad daylight carries real consequences.”

Amador said that he called an emergency number run by the National Protection Mechanism for Journalists immediately after the attack, but no one answered. He then contacted Security Minister Ramon Sabillon, who sent a police team to open an investigation.

Radio Globo is a Tegucigalpa-based radio station that covers national news, politics, and sports, and produces the TV news channel Globo TV. Amador told CPJ he believed the attack may have been retaliation for the outlet’s coverage of extradition proceedings against former President Juan Orlando Hernández. Hernández was arrested in February and faces possible extradition to the United States on drug trafficking and weapons charges, according to news reports.

Amador said that the former head of the national police threatened legal proceedings against him in 2019 over the outlet’s coverage of his alleged links with drug trafficking.

When CPJ contacted Sabillon via messaging app for comment, he said he would respond to questions but did not do so by the time of publication. CPJ also messaged Danilo Morales, the director of the protection mechanism, but did not receive a response.

In 2019, Radio Globo Director David Romero  was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly defaming a former prosecutor; he died of COVID in detention in July 2020.