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Radio station owner shot dead in Santa Bárbara

(PROBIDAD/IFEX) - The year 2008 began tragically in Honduras, with the murder of 41-year-old José Fernando Gonzáles, the owner of the radio station Radio Mega, on 1 January.

Two individuals entered the station, pretending to be clients of the station, and as soon as Gonzáles appeared to attend to them, they shot him repeatedly, killing him on the spot, without speaking a word. The incident took place in the north-western community of Santa Bárbara, some 250 kilometres from the capital, Tegucigalpa. They

The two individuals came by truck; three others remained waiting in the truck while the killers entered the building. The killers told staff that they were interested in buying advertising time. Gonzáles was then in the broadcast booth with two programme hosts. When he exited the booth, the killers opened fire.

Silvio Inestroza, the Santa Bárbara chief of police, says the police are entertaining two hypotheses with regard to the motives of the killing: that it was either a crime of passion, or related to his work. Gonzáles had been expanding his media holdings in the region.

In 2007, freedom of expression suffered in Honduras, with various threats directed against journalists, and one journalist killed: Carlos Salgado was shot to death as he left his workplace, Radio Cadena Voces.

This alert was prepared by PROBIDAD with information provided by the Committee for Free Expression (Comité por la Libre Expresión, C-Libre).

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