Laments death of Venezuelan editor at hands of common criminals
Miami (March 5, 2010)–The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the murder in Honduras of reporter Joseph Hernández Ochoa in an attack that left fellow journalist Carol Cabrera injured after she received a death threat for her news reports. The Western Hemisphere organization called for a prompt investigation into the incident to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The attack occurred on the night of March 1 when Hernández Ochoa, 26, a reporter with privately-owned TV Canal 51, was giving a ride to Cabrera, who works for state-owned Canal 8 television and radio station Cadena Voces that airs her program “The Angel of Controversy.” They were on the way to her house when at least two assailants on a motorcycle closed in and shot at them more than 30 times. It is believed the attack was aimed at Cabrera.
IAPA President Alejandro Aguirre, managing editor of the Miami, Florida, Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas, offered his condolences to Hernández Ochoa’s family and urged the Honduran authorities to carry out “an urgent investigation to learn the motives for the attack, identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”
At the time of the attack Cabrera was transmitting from her cell phone to the radio station so the attack was taped. Hernández Ochoa died from his injuries and Cabrera underwent a number of surgeries before later being reported in stable condition. This was the second attack in less than three months involving Cabrera, who for the last 15 days has been under police protection following a death threat.
On December 15 the IAPA had expressed outrage at the death of Cabrera’s 16-year-old daughter, Katherine Nicolle Rodríguez Cabrera, who was eight months pregnant at the time and died after being attacked at the same place this latest incident occurred. At the time it was speculated that Cabrera was the target. When this week’s attack took place Cabrera’s own car was broken down and it is believed that is the reason she sought police protection for her other two children.
In another development the chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Robert Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, offered his condolences to the family and colleagues of Venezuelan journalist Israel Márquez, editor of the newspaper 2001, murdered on March 1. Preliminary investigations indicate that his death may have been linked to the serious crime wave that has overtaken the country.
Márquez and his wife were in separate cars when his wife was intercepted by a number of assailants who attempted to rob her; when he went to her aid gunshots were exchanged and the 2001 director was killed.