York, March 12, 2010—Unidentified
gunmen killed radio journalist David Meza Montesinos on Thursday as he was
driving in the Honduran city of La
Ceiba, local press reports said. The Committee to
Protect Journalists urged authorities today to fully investigate Meza’s killing
and bring those responsible to justice.
Meza, 51, a reporter for the local radio station El Patio
and a correspondent for national broadcaster Radio America,
was shot at about 5:30 p.m. near his home in the coastal city of La Ceiba, 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of the capital,
News reports said a van pulled alongside Meza’s car and at least one occupant
fired several times. The journalist died at the scene,
press reports said.
Honduran police did not disclose possible motives or
identify any suspects, press reports said. Managers at Radio El Patio and Radio America told
CPJ that Meza handled general assignments, including coverage of drug
trafficking and organized crime. Neither manager was aware of any threats
against Meza, although a local journalist told CPJ that Meza had recently been
warned by unknown callers to be “careful” in his reporting.
“We are shocked by the killing of David Meza, and alarmed by
rising violence in Honduras,
which has cost the lives of two reporters in the last two weeks.” said Carlos
Lauría, CPJ’s senior program coordinator for the Americas. “We urge Honduran
authorities to investigate this killing and bring those responsible to justice.”
On March 1, reporter Joseph
Hernández Ochoa was killed in similar circumstances in Tegucigalpa. In July 2009, unidentified
gunmen killed reporter Gabriel Fino
Noriega, a correspondent for Radio America in the Atlantic region. CPJ
is investigating the three slayings to determine whether they were related to
the journalists’ work.