TV news reporter found shot to death in Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — The body of a television reporter was found in Honduras on Monday a day after he went missing. He had been shot twice.
National Police chief Ramon Sabillon said the body of TV reporter Herlyn Espinal was left half naked on the side of a highway. Sabillon said Espinal’s family had identified the body.
Police reported one suspect had been detained.
Espinal, 32, worked for a news program on Channel 3 television in San Pedro Sula, long considered the most violent city in Honduras, which in turn is the country with the highest homicide rate in the world: 90.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The governmental human rights commission says 37 media workers have been slain in the Central American country over the last 10 years. A killer has been convicted in only one of those cases, a 2010 homicide.
Security Minister Arturo Corrales said it was unlikely that Espinal was killed because of his work as a journalist, calling that “the least likely” theory.
Honduran authorities have frequently argued that journalists have been killed for personal reasons. Some journalists in Honduras also hold other jobs, to make ends meet.
Espinal disappeared Sunday morning after a meal at a restaurant with friends. He parked his car in front of his mother’s house and then was see getting into another vehicle with three other people inside.
“This a heavy blow for journalism, and we demand that authorities arrest and punish the killers,” said Juan Mairena, the head of the Honduran journalists association.