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Another vile murder!

There's no end to the repressive wave against the Honduran people. Two journalists killed in less than a week.




While in the northern Honduran city of Esperanza over a thousand delegates of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) closed the Second National Meeting for the New Honduras, denouncing the repression unleashed by the "democratorship" against the people's efforts to organize and create a social and political alternative for the country, in the city of Tocoa, two unidentified men gunned down journalist Nahum Palacios, director of Channel 5, killing him and seriously injuring his companions.



At 10 p.m. on the night of March 14, as he was returning home, Nahum Palacios was cut off near his house and shot 26 times with an AK-47 automatic weapon.


A few days earlier, on March 11, David Meza Montecinos, a reporter with Radio El Patio de La Ceiba and a correspondent for Radio América and the news program "Abriendo Brecha," had been killed in very similar circumstances.


According to Bertha Oliva, the national coordinator of the Commission of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH), "The murder of journalist Nahum Palacios represents an affront against the system of international human rights on the part of the government, because the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) had issued precautionary measures on his behalf. By failing to implement the measures immediately, the government led directly to his death."


Since the June 28, 2009 coup d'état, Palacios had been repeatedly harassed by the state's repressive forces for his ongoing coverage of the Resistance's activities. On the very same day of the coup, soldiers from the Puerto Castilla Naval Base arrived at the offices of Channel 5, threatening Palacios, confiscating the broadcasting equipment, and arresting five workers.


According to the COFADEH report, the next day the army raided the journalist's house and took him in for allegedly disturbing the peace and using his programs to call for an uprising.


It was these acts that led the IACHR to request that the state of Honduras take the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of the journalist. These measures, however, were never implemented.


In recent weeks, his commitment to furthering the cause of the Honduran people led Nahum Palacios to cover the agrarian conflict that erupted in December 2009 in the region of Lower Aguán, where thousands of peasants gathered in the United Peasants Movement of Aguán (MUCA) were fighting to recover tens of thousands of hectares of land unjustly seized by powerful landowners and African oil palm producers Miguel Facussé Barjum, René Morales and Reynaldo Canales.


Paradoxically, Honduras' outrageous situation of widespread human rights abuses contrasts with the attempts by the Porfirio Lobo administration and part of the international community to present a facade of normalcy and peace.


The recent trip to Latin America by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with the aim of urging the continent's countries to resume ties with Honduras, was followed by the European Union's decision to allow the Honduran government to participate in the negotiations for the EU-Central America Association Agreement.


These instances are an insult to the memory of Nahum Palacios, one of the dozens of victims who have been murdered and whose rights have been violated since June 28, 2009.


For Bertha Oliva, right now there are "very delicate situations in the country, which can have fatal consequences for more journalists. Among these are the popular struggle for a new Honduras, the land conflict involving powerful landowners, and the launching of a media campaign denouncing the alleged existence of armed social groups calling for radical changes in the country, in an attempt to discredit our peaceful struggle."


From Managua, Giorgio Trucchi


March 16, 2010










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