Honduras: three convicted in reporter’s murder

On March 25 a Tegucigalpa court convicted three men in the May 2012 murder of Honduran journalist Angel Alfredo Villatoro Rivera. Marvin Alonso Gómez and the brothers Osman Fernando and Edgar Francisco Osorio Argujo are scheduled to be sentenced on April 25; prison terms could range from 40 years to life. At least 40 Honduran journalists have been murdered in the past decade, with few convictions. Cases include the July 2013 kidnapping and murder of television journalist Aníbal Barrow and the October 2013 shooting death of Globo TV camera operator Manuel Murillo Varela. The French-based organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Honduras 129th out of 180 countries in its 2014 press freedom index. (Thomas Reuters Foundation, March 28; IFEX, March 31)

In related news, there have still been no arrests in the August 2013 shooting deaths of three members of the Tolupan indigenous group near an anti-mining and anti-logging protest in the community of Locomapa in the northern department of Yoro. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR, or CIDH in Spanish), an agency of the Organization of American States (OAS), issued precautionary measures for the protection of 38 Locomapa residents on Dec. 19, but the suspects in the killings remain free. On March 27 Selvin Matute, one of the two main suspects, warned an anti-mining activist that if the protesters continued to make declarations on Radio Progreso, they would be dragged from their houses and their tongues would be cut off. (América Latina en Movimiento, ALAI, April 4)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 6.