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Security analyst who spoke out against organised crime assassinated

(C-Libre/IFEX) - 8 December 2011, Tegucigalpa, Honduras - On the morning of 7 December 2011, Alfredo Landaverde, a well-known security analyst, was assassinated in Tegucigalpa. Making full use of his right to freedom of expression, Landaverde had denounced drug trafficking, organised crime and police corruption.

Landaverde and his wife, Hilda Caldera, were travelling in a vehicle on a road that leads out of Tegucigalpa to the tourist area of Valle de Ángeles when they were intercepted by assailants on a motorbike who shot at them. Landaverde died a few minutes later as he was being transported to a hospital. Caldera was shot in the back but survived.

Landaverde was known for courageously denouncing the origins of organised crime in Honduras, the links to it, those involved in it and the cowardice of successive governments in confronting it. In one of his public appearances, he outlined the manner in which individuals within the police force were involved in corruption, including collusion with drug traffickers and organised crime groups, with the complicity of the upper echelons.

In the "Frente a Frente" programme aired on the Canal 5 television station he publicly called on former security minister Oscar Álvarez to hand over a list of 25 upper level officials who, according to information he had, were linked to drug trafficking. He issued the same demand to former national police director José Luis Muñoz Licona, but received no response from either of the two men.

On 28 November, a police officer warned Landaverde of the possibility that he would be attacked and told him to be careful. The warning came immediately after he provided a statement to the Special Prosecutor for Organised Crime, Roger Matus, about the involvement of police officers in the killing of an anti-drug trafficking official in 2009. Eight days after receiving the warning he was shot and killed. His wife is seeking refuge at the American Embassy.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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