Honduras: another journalist killed; toll reaches 37

The body of Honduran journalist Juan Carlos ArgeƱal Medina was found on Dec. 7 at his home in DanlĆ­ in the southern department of El ParaĆ­so; he had been shot dead. ArgeƱal was a correspondent for the independent Globo radio and television network and also owned Vida TelevisiĆ³n. He was at least the third Honduran journalist killed this year and the 37th since President Porfirio (“Pepe”) Lobo Sosa took office in January 2010, according to Globo. Another Globo journalist, Edgardo Castro, has announced that he plans to leave the country because of death threats. (Miami Herald, Dec. 9, from AP; Adital, Brazil, Dec. 11)

JosĆ© Enrique Reyes Coto, an attorney who had run unsuccessfully for a local office in Nov. 24 elections on the line of the center-left Freedom and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), was gunned down by three unidentified men in the early morning of Dec. 8 while he was attending a party in his home town of Choloma, in the northern department of CortĆ©s. He was reportedly the 71st lawyer killed during President Lobo’s term. The police suggest the killers were gang members who thought Reyes had failed to represent another gang member adequately. (Tiempo, San Pedro Sula, Dec. 10; Vos el Soberano, Honduras, Dec. 10)

In other news, a Tegucigalpa criminal court has finalized the sentences of four former police agents for the October 2011 murder of two university students, Carlos David Pineda RodrĆ­guez and Alejandro Rafael Vargas Castellanos, the son of the rector of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH). One agent was sentenced to 66 years in prison and the others to 58 years. (Miami Herald, Dec. 9, from AP)
 
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, December 15.