Honduras: two more opposition activists murdered

José Antonio Ardón, an activist in Honduras’ center-left Freedom and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), was gunned down by unknown assailants in Tegucigalpa’s Altos de la Sosa neighborhood the evening of Nov. 30. Ardón had been part of the motorcycle group that provided an escort for LIBRE presidential candidate Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, LIBRE’s presidential candidate in the disputed Nov. 24 general elections. He was known as “Emo Dos” (“Emo Two”) because he had inherited his motorcycle from another activist, Mahadeo (“Emo”) Sadloo, who was murdered in eastern Tegucigalpa on Sept. 7, 2011. LIBRE supporters say more than 250 people active in the party and other opposition groups have been murdered since the June 2009 military coup d’état that overthrew former president José Manuel (“Mel”) Zelaya Rosales (2006-2009), Xiomara Castro’s husband. (El Libertador, Honduras, Nov. 30; La Tribuna, Tegucigalpa, Dec. 1)

On the night of Dec. 6 unknown assailants on a motorcycle murdered a former LIBRE mayoral candidate, Graciela Suazo Solano, in the northern city of La Ceiba, Atlántida department. Suazo Solano came in third on Nov. 24 in the mayoral race for the town of Brus Laguna, Gracias a Dios department. Police indicated that she was killed while resisting an attempted robbery. (Proceso Digital, Honduras, Dec. 7)

Edgardo Castro, a journalist with Globo TV elected to the National Congress on the LIBRE ticket, announced on Dec. 7 that he was leaving the country. He said that he had been receiving death threats on his cell phone and that a colleague had warned him about plans for his murder. “I’m being obliged to leave the country because the government isn’t guaranteeing me protection,” he said. “On the contrary, the threats against my life are coming from there.” (El Libertador, Dec. 7)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, December 8.