19 October 2007

IAPA Repudiates Murder of Journalist


IAPA repudiates murder of journalist in Honduras, calls for investigation to determine motive


MIAMI, Florida (October 19, 2007)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed outrage at the murder of journalist and humorist Carlos Salgado in Honduras and issued an urgent appeal to the authorities in the Central American country to investigate the crime so as to bring the guilty promptly to justice.


According to eye-witnesses Salgado, a satirical reporter for the Radio Cadena Voces (RCV) radio station in Tegucigalpa, was assaulted by two men as he was leaving the station. They shot him and fled. Salgado, the creator 30 years ago of the humorously critical show “Las historietas del Frijol el Terrible” (The Comic Story of Bean The Terrible), was rushed to hospital, where he died shortly afterwards.


“We regret the loss of life, we offer our sympathy to his colleagues and we urge the authorities to solve the murder and bring those responsible to justice,” declared IAPA President Earl Maucker, editor of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, newspaper Sun-Sentinel.


Dagoberto Rodríguez, the radio station’s news director, told local media that he was unable to say who had carried out the attack, which he called “an assault upon the work of Radio Cadenas Voces.” He referred to death threats and other attempts at intimidating the staff of the radio station after it alleged corruption and wrongdoing in the local government, but he said that Salgado himself had not been threatened.


The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gonzalo Marroquín, editor of the newspaper Prensa Libre in Guatemala City, Guatemala, added, “We must not let our guard down and we need to insist that this crime be solved and the guilty identified.”


Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya was the keynote speaker at an IAPA luncheon on October 15 during the organization’s 63rd General Assembly held in Miami, during which delegates adopted a report on the state of press freedom in his country containing reports of intimidation of and threats to journalists at RCV and other news media, among them a September 7 attack on Geovanny García, a reporter for the Hondured television network, in which he was wounded while driving his car.