Guatemala City, October 24, 2022 — Honduran authorities must thoroughly investigate the killing of journalist Edwin Josué Andino, determine if he was targeted for his work, and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday.
In the morning of October 10, unidentified individuals dressed in police uniforms kidnapped Andino from his home in Comayagüela, northwest of the capital of Tegucigalpa, and later shot and killed him, according to a report by the Honduran free expression group C-Libre and news reports. Andino’s body was found on the street near his home, with his mouth taped shut and gunshot wounds to his face.
The journalist’s father, Edwin Emilio Andino, whom assailants took from the same home hours before, was found shot and killed in a different neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, according to those reports.
Andino, 23, graduated from journalism school in 2021 and worked as a producer for afternoon shows on the national La Tribuna TV (LTV) station, according to news reports and a statement from the outlet. LTV director Raúl Morazán told AFP that Andino had worked for the channel for two years and was unaware of any threats against the journalist.
“Honduran authorities should thoroughly investigate the killing of Edwin Josué Andino and his father and determine if it was related to his work as a journalist,” said Natalie Southwick, CPJ’s Latin America and the Caribbean program coordinator, in New York. “The Honduran government must end the impunity that has prevailed in the killings of journalists for so many years by conducting a swift and credible investigation that identifies all of those responsible and brings them to justice.”
On October 12, police said two cars used by the shooters, which were found in a warehouse with plastic handcuffs, tape, and traces of blood, were taken to the forensic examiners, according to news reports.
On October 15 and 18, police arrested several people with alleged ties to the Barrio 18 gang, including four who are allegedly connected to the killing of Andino and his father, according to multiple news reports.
Police chief Gustavo Sánchez told media outlets that mobile devices confiscated from the suspects included “technical and scientific” evidence that at least three of the individuals were involved in killing the pair, according to those reports.
Security Minister Ramon Sabillon told CPJ via messaging app that police investigations were still ongoing.
Since 1992, at least eight journalists in Honduras have been murdered in connection with their work, according to CPJ research. CPJ is investigating the killings of 28 other journalists to determine if they were work-related.