News Release

Another journalist killed in Honduras, the “deadliest place in the world to do journalism”

Felix Molina

CNN reported Wednesday that: “Ninety-four members of Congress signed a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday, proposing a cutoff to all military and police aid until the issue of human rights violations in Honduras are addressed.”

The latest journalist to be killed was 54-year-old Fausto Elio Hernández Arteaga of Radio Alegre in the Aguan Valley region. He was found Sunday hacked to death with 18 machete wounds, none of his personal belongings were stolen. He is the 19th journalist to be killed since Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo took power in the aftermath of a 2009 military coup. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Frank La Rue, recently declared Honduras the as “per capita, the deadliest place in the world to do journalism.”

FELIX MOLINA, lvargas at sjc-cjs.org
Molina is host and producer of the nightly news and analysis program for Radio Globo, a chain of 17 stations across Honduras. Radio Globo has been shut down by the military on two occasions since the 2009 coup, and Molina says he receives regular death threats by way of text message. He is currently in Ottawa to denounce the Canadian government’s recent signing of a free-trade agreement with the Lobo regime.

Regarding the killing of Fausto Elio Hernández Arteaga, Molina says: “Another journalist killed in a post-coup situation where none of the previous 18 assassinations have been investigated, much less solved. The responsibility for that impunity lies with the regime that took power by force. It’s also significant that this newest killing took place in the Aguán Valley, the region of the country that has seen the highest degree of political violence since the coup. In the two years since Lobo took power, more than 50 landless farmers have been killed in this one valley, simply for demanding their right to land.”

JESSE FREESTON, jfreeston at gmail.com
Freeston is a video-journalist and filmmaker. He released a 25-minute documentary on journalism in Honduras for The Real News Network in late 2011. He is currently finishing a feature documentary, Resistencia, on the land conflict in the Aguán Valley, where Fausto Elio Hernández Arteaga was killed. (see trailer at www.resistenciathefilm.com)

Freeston says: “We still don’t have the details on the most recent death, but the last journalist that was killed in the Aguán, Nahúm Palacios, was shot dead just one week after doing a TV report sympathetic to the landless farmer movement in the valley. Most international coverage of the journalist deaths neglects to mention that at least 17 of the 19 murdered journalists had been critical of the coup regime, and zero of the 19 worked for any of Honduras’ major media conglomerates that backed the coup (conglomerates that are, by far, the largest employers of journalists). In other words, what we’re seeing is a cleansing of journalists critical of what many Hondurans call the ‘ongoing coup’.”