Photo: Jose Chinchilla
Honduran journalist Jose Chinchilla reported Saturday that two men tried to murder him and that during the attack in the northern part of the country, a son of his suffered a bullet wound.
“Two gunmen came shooting at the house and wounded one of my kids” in what was the fourth attempt on the journalist’s life in the last few months, he said on a local radio station.
The wounded child was first taken to the public hospital in the town of El Progreso in the northern province of Yoro, but minutes later was sent to a private clinic “where he is recovering,” the journalist said.
Chinchilla, the correspondent for the Radio Cadena Voces network in El Progreso, asked Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and national ombudsman Ramon Custodio to provide protection for him and his family.
“When you call the police it takes them two hours to get here - I can imagine seeing the same criminals prowling around my house again in the wee hours and I call the police and they don’t come,” said the journalist, who has asked for political asylum in a country he preferred not to identify.
A spokesman for the ombudsman’s office, Nery Velasquez, said on Radio Cadena Voces that his agency will ask for “the appropriate protection for Chinchilla and his family” both from the National Police and the federal Attorney General’s Office.
From 2003 to date some 30 journalists have been murdered in Honduras and not one of the cases has been solved, according to the state Human Rights Commission.
Oct. 18, 2007, saw the death of Honduran journalist and humorist Carlos Salgado, director of the comedy program “Las Historietas de Frijol el Terrible” (Tales of Bean the Terrible), which aired on Radio Cadena Voces.
In November 2007 the journalist and then-director of Radio Cadena Voces, Dagoberto Rodriguez, left the country because police had warned him of death threats against him.
Paris-based press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, said in March after a radio host was hacked to death with a machete in the northeastern Honduran province of Colon that 19 journalists had been killed in the country since the June 2009 putsch that toppled leftist President Mel Zelaya.
No one has gone to jail for any of the murders.
Honduras ranked 135th out of 179 countries in RSF’s latest press freedom index.