Kidnapped journalist Alfredo Villatoro found dead in Honduras


A poster with the portrait of the kidnapped Honduran journalist Alfredo Villatoro, coordinator of the HRN La Voz de Honduras radio broadcasting station, is seen in Tegucigalpa in May 2012.



Alfredo Villatoro, the Honduran journalist kidnapped on his way to work last week, has been found dead on the outskirts of the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Villatoro, a radio presenter at the HRN station who had reported receiving death threats, was dressed in a police uniform, Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla said, according to the BBC.

He had been abducted near his home by a gang of young men travelling in two vehicles on May 9. His car was found abandoned in Tres Caminos, a residential neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, EFE reports.

Villator’s captors reportedly contacted his family after his kidnapping to confirm they were holding him, HRN said, but gave no further details.

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His abduction came just a day after the dead body of Erick Martinez, a Honduran journalist and gay rights activist, was found on the side of a road around 5 kilometers outside the capital.

Police told local media that Martinez, who worked for an association campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, had been found strangled.

Honduras has the highest murder rate on the planet, according to UN figures, with 82 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, and has become increasingly dangerous for journalists given the recent rise in drug trafficking and organized crime.

The International Press Institute (IPI) says more than 20 journalists have been killed since the military coup that ousted former President Manuel Zelaya in May 2009.

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