Honduras : opposition radio journalist narrowly escapes murder attempt
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the attempt to murder well-known opposition radio journalist Félix Molina in the Honduran capital yesterday, on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, and urges the Honduran authorities to identify those responsible and provide journalists with effective protection.
In the same day, Molina was targeted twice. The first time, he escaped two armed individuals who tried to rob him while he was travelling in a taxi. The second attempt happened a few hours later, when two different individuals attacked him at the same place where he had escaped earlier. This time, they did open fire against the taxi, but Molina managed to take cover behind a seat and the shots hit him in the legs.
He is now in a Tegucigalpa hospital where doctors say his injuries are no longer life threatening.
Molina is the director of the community media organisation “Alter Eco” and was the former host of Resistencia, a programme aired by the very popular opposition radio stations, Radio Globo and Radio Progreso. He has been a popular broadcaster ever since the 2009 coup d’état and has received many death threats in connection with his frequent criticism of the government.
He had just pointed out that those arrested for the 3 March murder of environmental activist Berta Cáceres – a murder that shocked the entire country and the international community – were linked to certain Honduran politicians.
“We condemn this cowardly attempt to murder Félix Molina and we urge the authorities to identify the perpetrators and instigators without delay,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America desk.“The law on the protection of journalists, that was voted a year ago, must be implemented at once in order to end the spiral of violence that has been afflicting Honduras and its journalists for too many years.”
With seven journalists murdered in 2015, Honduras is the western hemisphere’s second deadliest country for media personnel (after Mexico) and is ranked 137th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.