03 January 2008

IAPA calls for investigation into murder of Honduran reporter


IAPA calls for investigation into murder of Honduran reporter


MIAMI, Florida (January 4, 2008)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed outrage at the January 1st murder of radio station owner and announcer José Fernando Gonzáles in Honduras and issued a public call for authorities in the Central American country to determine the motive and quickly impose justice in the case. 


Gonzáles, 35, of radio station Mega FM 92.7, was attacked and short several times by unidentified assailants. Eye-witnesses reported that around 5:00 p.m. a group of people claiming to be interested in buying ad spots entered the station and began shooting at Gonzáles who was in a sound booth at the time. He died at the scene.


As the assailants exited the station they grabbed another announcer but they released him once they were outside. According to information gathered by the local press the attackers fled in a “gray-colored luxury minivan.”


The radio station is located in the Trinidad township of Honduras’northwestern Santa Barbara province.


The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gonzalo Marroquín, offered his condolences to Gonzáles’ family and friends. The motive for the murder is not known, and Marroquín, editor of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Prensa Libre, urged the Honduran authorities to “hold an in-depth investigation to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”


Gonzáles’ frequent broadcasts on the radio station made him a well-known local voice. 


On October 18, 2007 Carlos Salgado, a satirical reporter for Radio Cadena Voces radio station, was murdered in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. And in November Dagoberto Rodríguez, the station’s director, was forced to flee the country with his family after receiving repeated death threats.