Freedom of Expression

Press Release R162/17

Office of the Special Rapporteur condemns murder of journalist Osmin Antonio España Chávez in Honduras and urges to investigate the relation to his journalistic activity

October 13, 2017


Washington, D.C. - The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of journalist Osmin Antonio España Chávez in Honduras and urges the State to investigate the crime with due diligence, and clarify its possible relation to the journalistic activity.

According to public information, the correspondent Osmin España was victim of a firearm attack in Santa Rosa de Copán, department of Copán, on October 4, and then would have been transferred to a nearby hospital and to a second health center for surgical intervention. On October 6, his passing was made public.

España Chávez was the host and producer of the television show ‘El Show del Príncipe’, a humorous and political satire. Popularly known as "Payaso Pimpin", currently he would’ve been writing a book about the history of the city of Santa Rosa de Copán. According to available information, on 5 October, the National Police would have arrested one of the alleged perpetrators of the crime.

The Office of the Special Rapporteur calls on the Honduran State to investigate in a complete, effective, and impartial manner this crime, clarify its motives, and judicially determine the relationship it could have with journalistic activity and freedom of expression. Authorities should not rule out the practice of journalism as a motive for murder and/or aggression before the investigation is completed, they should also provide appropriate resources and specialized personnel to the institutions responsible for investigating such cases.


Both the Commission and the Inter-American Court have addressed the chilling effect that crimes against journalists have on other media professionals, as well as on citizens who intend to report abuses of power or unlawful acts of any kind. This chilling effect can only be prevented, according to the Commission, "by swift action on the part of the State to punish all perpetrators, as is its duty under international and domestic law."


Principle 9 of the IACHR's Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression states: "[t]he murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats to social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation."


The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression was created by the IACHR to encourage the defense of the right to freedom of thought and expression in the hemisphere, given the fundamental role this right plays in consolidating and developing the democratic system.