The IAPA called on the authorities of Colombia, Honduras and Mexico to fully investigate three murders committed at the weekend so as to determine the motives for the crimes and bring those guilty to justice.
IAPA President Alejandro Aguirre, editor of the Miami, Florida, Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas, asked the officials concerned to “investigate the crimes so as to learn the motives, especially because these occurred in countries that have seen a sharp increase in the levels of violence” – a reference in particular to Honduras and Mexico. Aguirre added that while initial inquiries in the three cases indicate possible motives unconnected with the victims’ work as journalists “it is important to solve the crimes and that they do not go unpunished.”
Murdered in Colombia on April 11 was Mauricio Medina Moreno, 50, killed in Tolima province. Unidentified assailants shot and wounded him 20 times. He belonged to an indigenous town council and for the past six years had worked as director of the local community radio station CRIT 98.0, where he hosted daily newscasts and programs on cultural and environmental topics. It was not known whether he had received any threat, but his colleagues believe he was not killed because of his work.
In Honduras, murdered early on the same day was Luis Antonio Chévez Hernández, 23, an announcer on radio station W105, where he hosted programs for youths. The attack on him, in which his cousin Julio César Chévez, 20, was also killed, took place outside his home in San Pedro Sula province. They were both riddled with bullets.
In Mexico, on April 10 the body of Enrique Villcaña Palomares, 50, was discovered with the throat slit. He was a notary public and university lecturer who wrote an occasional column for in the newspaper La Voz de Michoacán. He had been kidnapped on April 5 and according to the local Public Prosecutor’s Office his family had paid a ransom. The reason for his death was not immediately known.