15 December 2014

IAPA condemns murder of journalist in Honduras

MIAMI, Florida (December 15, 2014)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the murder today of the Canal 28 television channel owner and journalist, Reynaldo Paz, in Honduras, and called on the authorities to undertake an exhaustive investigation to determine whether the motives for the crime are related to his work as a journalist and bring those responsible to justice. Paz, 48, was attacked this morning as he was exercising at a sports center in the town of Comayagua, in the province of the same, north of Tegucigalpa. Unidentified assailants intercepted him, and as he ran to his vehicle to protect himself he was shot several times. The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, offered his condolences to Paz’s family and colleagues and urged the authorities “to speed up a thorough investigation, so as to determine the motives and who was responsible for the murder.” The local newspaper El Tiempo said that according to police investigations Paz was believed to have been killed “for having used his media outlet to make statements about the current situation in the country.” Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, mentioned the lack of protection for those working as journalists, declaring that “the most effective means of combating impunity is through the investigation and punishment of those responsible.” IAPA statistics for 2014 have recorded the murders of journalists Nery Francisco Soto Torres of Canal 23 television and radio station Radio Full in Olanchito. Yoro province, on August 14, and Herlyn Espinal of Televicentro and the Hoy Mismo newscast in San Pedro Sula on July 20. Also killed, on April 11, was Carlos Hilario Mejía Orellana of the Advertising Sales Department of Radio Progreso in Yoro province. The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.