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Police exposé linked to shooting attack on newspaper, Honduran editor says

Gunmen shot at the offices of the La Tribuna newspaper in Honduras early in the morning of Dec. 5, reported C-Libre. A security guard was injured in the attack but is in stable condition, according to Prensa Latina. Witnesses reported seeing men in a gray vehicle fire 10 shots into the newspaper offices, leaving bullet holes in the walls and shattering a glass door, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Editor-in-chief Daniel Villeda told C-Libre that staff had gone home for the night and delivery trucks had already left when the attack took place. Villeda linked the attack to an article that ran the day before the attack. La Tribuna published a report saying that police had threatened prosecutors investigating police involvement in the killing of two students at the National Autonomous University of Honduras.

Following an editorial from La Tribuna denouncing threats and attack on reporters, executives from several Honduran media outlets met with President Porfirio Lobo at the end of November, urging him to do more to protect journalists.

The Honduran Journalists Union condemned the attacks, saying, "Each new attack on the life and work of a journalist reinforces the narrative of impunity and defenselessness that we face in Honduras, and it appears that the authorities are incapable of stopping these attacks on the freedom of expression."

Honduran human rights Commissioner Ramón Custodio declared that there was " a 'machine' set on terrorizing journalists and all those that defend freedom of expression, and fight against corruption and impunity in the country," reported La Tribuna.

In May of this year, a La Tribuna editor was hospitalized after being shot six times. A police chief was accused of firing at the same offices three years ago. Despite being clearly identified, he received only a slap on the wrist, reported Prensa Gráfica.

Honduras has the second-highest murder rate for journalists in Latin America. Since 2009, there have been 16 journalists killed in the Central American country; none of the crimes have been solved.

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