The director of the Honduran station Radio Joconguera, Nery Orellana, was shot to death Thursday, July 14, on a road in the Honduran town of Candelaria, on the border with El Salvador, reported La Prensa. Orellana, 26 years old, is the fourth journalist killed in Honduras this year, after the killings of journalists Adán Benítez, Francisco Medina Polanco, and Luis Mendoza, owner of television station Canal 24.
Orellana, who also worked as a correspondent for Radio Progreso, was on his motorcycle when he was shot in the head, explained El Heraldo. Still alive, the journalist was taken by neighbors to the nearby Salvadoran hospital in Sensuntepeque, where he died a few hours later, according to Revistazo.
Police chief Juan Carlos Bonilla said that he has assigned a special team to investigate the journalist's killing.
Reporters Without Borders said Orellana was part of an alternative network of community radio stations and a member of the National Popular Resistance Front (FARP in Spanish), a movement created by supporters of ousted president Manuel Zelaya. Radio Joconguera denounced the constant violation of human rights. "All this means that he was the kind of journalist who was liable to be a target for violence ...“The motive for his murder has yet to be determined, but the possibility that it was linked to his journalistic or political activities should be prioritized in an investigation that needs to be carried out quickly. When will there be justice in Honduras? When will the impunity end?" Reporters Without Borders said.
Roughly a dozen journalists have been killed in Honduras since January 2010, and at the end of last year, President Porfirio Lobo asked the FBI in the United States for help solving the murders. In June, Honduras was readmitted to the Organization of American States, but Reporters Without Borders noted that the readmission has not restored rule of law nor resolved the problems caused by the 2009 coup.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.