Miami (June 3, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) urged Honduran authorities to consider the journalistic activity as a motive in the death of Ricardo Ávila. The journalist died earlier this week after suffering an attack.
Avila, 25, was a journalist and cameraman. He worked at the Metro radio and television station in Choluteca, in the department of the same name. He also directed the program Metro TV Noticias Fin de Semana. On May 25, men who shot him in the head while riding his motorcycle attacked him on his way to work. Ávila died on May 29.
The IAPA president asked, "To deepen the investigations and not rule out his profession as the cause of the attack." Canahuati, executive president of Grupo Opsa of Honduras, called to "take into account all the lines of investigation to clarify the crime in its totality."
The police are working on the hypothesis of an attempted robbery. But according to the local organization Committee for Freedom of Expression (C-Libre), Ávila's coverage of police events and social movements should be investigated. C-Libre pointed out that it had denounced the frequent threats received by Metro staff because of their editorial policy and added that the murdered journalist was carrying a considerable sum of money and other valuables that were not stolen.
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, explained: "It is the policy of our organization to demand justice for acts of violence against journalists, even in cases in which there is doubt as to whether it was related to their work."
"In that sense," added Jornet, editor of La Voz del Interior of Argentina, "the authorities must investigate promptly and thoroughly to punish those responsible and learn the truth."
According to IAPA statistics, this year Pablo Isabel Hernández Rivera, director and journalist of the community radio station Tenán 94.1 F.M, "La Voz Indígena Lenca", was murdered in Honduras in San Marcos de Caiquín, department of Lempira, on January 9.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.