Reporters Without Borders

Journalist still fears for safety although suspect held for his attempted murder

Journalist still fears for safety although suspect held for his attempted murder

Published on Friday 20 July 2012.
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Joaquín Molina Andrade, 28, was placed in pre-trial detention on 18 July after being brought before a court in the northern city of Puerto Cortés for the attempted murder of JBN TV’s local correspondent, Selvín Martínez, a week earlier in the same city.

However, Martínez, who was already the target of a murder attempt in April, is not reassured by Molina’s detention.

“My fear has grown since we realized that Molina belongs to a gang of killers,” Martínez told the Committee for Free Expression (C-Libre), a Reporters Without Borders partner organization. “The person who masterminded the attack on me is still at large.”

Reporters Without Borders said: “Martínez and his family must urgently be given the protection they have requested and continue to await. The authorities have a clear responsibility. Molina’s arrest does not mean the case has been solved. On the contrary, his evidence should enable much more progress to me made.”

Almost all of the 29 murders of Honduran journalists in the past decade remain unpunished. No fewer than 24 of these murders have taken place since the June 2009 coup d’état.


13.07.12 - Radio reporter gunned down and TV journalist shot at for second time

Adonis Felipe Bueso Gutiérrez, a reporter for the Christian radio station Radio Stereo Naranja, was shot dead with two of his cousins on 8 July in Villanueva in the northern department of Cortés while on holiday visiting his family.

He was to have taken part in celebrations on 21 July marking the first anniversary of the station, located in Sonoguera in the department of Colón.

His death brings to 29 the number of journalists killed in Honduras in the past decade, of whom 24 have died since the coup d’état on 28 June 2009.

“The motive has yet to be determined in this case, despite the fact that some of the victims’ belongings had disappeared, which supports the theory that it was a robbery,” Reporters Without Borders said. “However, the possibility that it was connected with his work cannot be ruled out.

“In each of these cases that has plunged the profession of journalism into mourning, the same impunity applies, whether they are attributable to the country’s high crime rate or the political violence spawned by the coup.

“So far, the only investigation that has yielded real progress is the one into the death of Alfredo Villatoro.

“The authorities should take similar action in all other instances of crime and threats, which constantly afflict journalists, human rights activists and other citizens who provide news and information.”

Bueso and his cousins Francisco Ireata López, 20, and 18-year-old Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez Coto were forced into a car by armed men as they left an Internet café in Villanueva about 6 pm. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found in the street half an hour later. Their wallets had been stolen and the tennis shoes worn by one of them had also been taken.

Also in the Cortés department, television reporter Selvín Martínez, who works for the station JBN, was the target of a shooting attack yesterday for the second time in less than two months. His home was machine-gunned in April and this time an unidentified gunman fired at him as he was riding his motorcycle to his daughter’s school, according to the Reporters Without Borders partner organization C-Libre.

Martinez, who was unhurt, said he counted 12 shots. He believed the perpetrator to be the leader of one of the criminal gangs in Central America known as “maras”, who have a reputation for extreme violence. In May this year, the journalist’s wife escaped a kidnapping attempt. Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate implementation of protective measures as requested by Martínez for himself and those close to him.

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