Another reporter murdered in Honduras – my hypothesis seems to hold

Update 2010-03-13: La Prensa reports today that the minister of security, Óscar Álvarez, is taking this case very seriously, in view of it being the second murder of a journalist in two weeks, and the fifth in a year. A special task force has been formed with detectives from both Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. The newspaper also describes how the situation for the press in Honduras has gradually deteriorated from the first murder of a journalist in 2003, after the return to democracy in 1981. From 2006 they consider that the situation has got gradually worse, with open hostility shown towards the press from some sectors of society.

If anything good can come of this, it may be that media starts focusing like a laser beam on crime and corruption, so that the people can get on the same page and start fighting, as one man, those who destroy the country. Yesterday I heard a Greek say about his country’s deep economical troubles that poverty stems from corruption, not the other way around. In both countries the medicine is thus the same: The people needs to stand shoulder to shoulder against any and all corruption. As long as there is corruption, crime cannot be defeated, and the murders will continue. It has come to the point in Honduras that it is a matter of life or death to stop corruption; the country has the highest murder rate in the world. This HAS to stop, and it has to stop NOW.

Original text 2010-03-12: A couple of weeks ago a reporter in Tegucigalpa, Joseph Ochoa, was shot dead in what presumably was an attack on his passenger, the more well-known reporter Karol Cabrera. Yesterday the reporter David Meza was shot dead in La Ceiba.

The latter murder seems to have as a common denominator with some others not politics, but drugs. This hypothesis I presented on my blog February 27, and what has happened since unfortunately just seems to confirm it.

Journalists in San Pedro Sula are now also suspecting that drug smugglers are responsible, since Meza had reported on narco-trafficking. These journalists, and others working with media, will be taking to the streets Monday in San Pedro Sula to ask the government to investigate the drug traffickers in Honduras with utmost urgency.

The drug czar of Honduras was murdered in November. One may suspect that the cartels are eliminating people who are opposing them, while at the same time killing a lot of other people to hide the pattern. What is more, by violating the human rights of those sympathizing with the opposition, and claiming to represent the president, they may even be fueling the political crisis according to the old principle of Divide and Conquer, although in a new variant.

The decision by the journalists to take to the streets is a hopeful sign, in that they are trying to unite all political sides against a perceived common enemy: The criminals, the multi-national drug cartels.

2 thoughts on “Another reporter murdered in Honduras – my hypothesis seems to hold”

    1. Look at the videos called “INA, al estilo del Che” and “Gritaron Tacamiches..” in Gerardo’s link to La Prensa, and then read the article “Fuenteovejuna and the Tacamiches: symbols of resistance” at – taken together the image that emerges is one of injustice against the farmers when the land was bought by the present owners in the 90’s. I am not familiar with Honduran law, but I have read the Swedish law.

      The Swedish Brottsbalken, Ch 9 says “5 § Den som vid avtal eller någon annan rättshandling begagnar sig av någons trångmål, oförstånd, lättsinne eller beroende ställning till att bereda sig förmån, som står i uppenbart missförhållande till vederlaget eller för vilken vederlag inte skall utgå, döms för ocker till böter eller fängelse i högst två år.” Translation: “Article 5. The one who in a contract or any other legal document takes advantage of somebody’s distress, poor judgment, improvidence [Sp: imprevisión], or position of dependence to achieve an advantage that is clearly disproportionate to the compensation or for which no compensation shall be given, is convicted of usury to fines or prison for up to two years.”

      It seems to me that the description given in the video suggests that the purchase of the farms constituted usury as a minimum. It may be worse, if the buyers first used the banks to put the sellers in financial difficulty by the use of credits that they did not fully understand. It may be legal in Honduras, it may not be, but if the description was correct (which I don’t know), it was not justice.

      As a minimum, my conclusion is that there is a need for a commission from Congress to investigate this and propose changes to the legislation to prevent any repetition.

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