Kidnapped journalist found dead in Honduras
A journalist who was kidnapped a week ago has been found shot to death, making him the 20th to be killed in Honduras in the past three years amid rising gang violence, police said Wednesday.
Alfredo Villatoro Rivera, 47, who worked for HRN radio, was found late Tuesday wearing an old police uniform, blindfolded with a red scarf and with gunshot wounds to the head, police spokesman Hector Ivan Mejia said.
“We have the body of a male and unfortunately it matches the characteristics of journalist Alfredo Villatoro,” Mejia told a news conference.
“We have no hypothesis” as to who killed him or why, he said.
His body was found a short time after President Porfirio Lobo said he had evidence that the journalist was still alive.
Lobo said Villatoro’s kidnappers had sent videos showing the journalist in good health.
The victim’s family was reported have been negotiating his release with the kidnappers, who police suspect were members of one of the many criminal gangs active in Central America.
Villatoro was the 20th journalist killed in Honduras since the overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009. None of the murders have been solved.
[A poster with the portrait of the kidnapped Honduran journalist Alfredo Villatoro is seen in Tegucigalpa. AFP Photo/Orlando Sierra]