On December 19, 2020, in the southern Honduran city of Dulce Nombre de Culmí, an unidentified individual on a motorcycle approached Pedro Canelas’ car while he was parked outside a convenience store and shot him, according to news reports and National Police spokesperson Jair Meza, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview. Canelas was transferred to a local hospital, where he died hours later, according to reports.
Canelas owned Radio Bambi, a radio station where he also worked as a news presenter covering local politics and social issues, according to Javier Orellana, president of the Catacamas Journalist Association, a local press organization of which Canelas was a member.
Meza told CPJ on December 23, 2020, that a police team had been sent to Dulce Nombre de Cumbí to investigate the case, and that authorities had not determined a motive for the killing or arrested any suspects. CPJ texted Meza in early January for updates on Canelas’ case, but did not receive any response.
Orellana told CPJ in a phone interview that Canelas was a well-known journalist in Olancho department, and had more than 30 years of experience working for outlets including Radio Catacamas, television channel HCH, and the newspaper El Heraldo.
Canelas founded Radio Bambi about 10 years ago, when he moved to Dulce Nombre de Culmí, Orellana said.
Orellana told CPJ that Canelas never mentioned receiving any threats, either personally or to the journalist’s association.