June 14, 2010, in El Paraíso, Honduras
Two assailants shot Mondragón, Channel 19 owner and anchor, multiple times as he was leaving the station after the evening newscast, according to news accounts and CPJ interviews.
Local reporters and his family say Mondragón was pointed in his stories about corruption, narcotics trafficking, and unlawful lumbering. "Those are dangerous topics here," said Osmin Garcia, correspondent for the national newspaper El Tiempo. "He talked about them on the newscast without giving names, but that wasn't enough protection."
Mondragón also had a police record, although he had not been prosecuted. He had been charged in two violent crimes--including an alleged sexual assault--and in one theft. Officials in the regional prosecutor's office told CPJ that a judge had dismissed some charges and that Mondragón had reached private arrangements with alleged victims in other cases.
One of Mondragón's sons, Carlos, told CPJ that his father had brought the family together to talk about recent death threats he had received. The father did not make clear the nature of the threats. "My father had the attitude that he was going to go ahead anyway. He said he had to continue. He said, 'If they are going to kill me, they won't threaten first, they'll just do it.'"
Contacted by CPJ, police would not discuss any aspect of their investigation.
Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.
- Journalist murders spotlight Honduran government failures, July 27, 2010
- Seventh Honduran journalist killed since March, June 15, 2010