August 19, 2014 - Updated on January 20, 2016

TV presenter becomes 7th journalist to be killed in Honduras in 2014

TV presenter and radio producer Nery Francisco Soto was gunned down outside his home in Olanchito, in the northern department of Yoro, on the night of 14 August, becoming the seventh journalist to be murdered in Honduras since the start of 2014. Unidentified gunmen shot him as he was putting his motorcycle inside his garage. The Olanchito authorities have ruled out robbery as a motive because his killers took nothing. Colleagues say Soto, a Canal 23 TV anchor and co-producer of Radio Full FM’s “Cuarto Poder” programme, had been investigating alleged corruption involving the mayor of the nearby city of Yoro, who is currently wanted for suspected money laundering. According to the National Commission for Human Rights (CONADEH), there have been 47 murders of journalists in Honduras since 2003, of which 91 per cent have gone unpunished. “The persistence of violence against journalists in Honduras shows that those responsible for these crimes stop at nothing to silence the sources of troublesome reporting,” said Camille Soulier, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk. “The authorities must take urgent action and must give themselves the necessary resources to end the impunity prevailing in most of these crimes, which affect those who dare to investigate sensitive news stories.” Honduras is ranked 129th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.