Haiti: Haïti Progrès editor Honorat gunned down

Two or more men on a motorcycle shot and killed Haitian journalist and political activist Georges Honorat on the evening of March 23 in front of his home in Delmas in the north of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. National Police of Haiti (PNH) spokesperson Inspector Gary Desrosiers said on March 24 that there were still no suspects. The police had also not determined a motive for the murder. The victim had been “receiving threats, anonymous phone calls,” according to Yves Joseph, an administrator at Honorat’s newspaper, Haïti Progrès, a weekly published in Port-au-Prince and Brooklyn. 

Honorat was the editor in chief of the paper, which was started in 1983 as a leftist weekly fighting the dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier (1971-1986). Honorat was a longtime member of the editorial team headed by the paper’s founder, former Haitian ambassador-at-large Ben Dupuy, but the two men fell out later. Honorat also had a leadership position in the small National Popular Party (PPN). At time of his death he was working as a consultant at the office of Laurent Salvador Lamothe, the prime minister in the government of rightwing president Michel Martelly.

Both Prime Minister Lamothe and the Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH) expressed “consternation” at the killing. The French-based organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called for a thorough investigation, noting that the April 3, 2000 murder of Radio Haïti Inter director Jean Dominique and the March 5 murder of Radio Boukman director Jean-Liphète Nelson remain unsolved. Haiti ranks as number 49 of the 179 countries rated in RSF’s most recent survey on press freedom. (Radio Kiskeya, Haiti, March 24; AlterPresse, March 25, March 25; RSF statement, March 26, via Maximini.com, Guadeloupe and Martinique)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, March 31.