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Honduras: Three convicted of killing journalist in 2012

Reporters Without Borders has welcomed the conviction of three men for the murder of Alfredo Villatoro, a journalist who hosted a show on radio HRN and coordinated its programming. He was found dead near Tegucigalpa on May 15, 2012, six days after being kidnapped from his home.

A Tegucigalpa criminal court convicted Marvin Alonso Gómez and two brothers, Osman Fernando and Edgar Francisco Osorio Argujo, on March 25, exactly 22 months after their arrest on May 25, 2012. Accepting the detailed evidence presented by the prosecution, which included DNA identification and records of calls to Villatoro’s family demanding a ransom, the court found them guilty of aggravated abduction.

Sentences are to be announced on April 25. According to the judges in charge of the case, the three men could receive sentences ranging from 40 years to life imprisonment under article 192 of the penal code.

“We welcome this conviction, we look forward to the sentencing and we like to think that the thorough investigation by the special prosecutor for organised crime is indicative of a desire by the authorities to reestablish justice in Honduras,” said Camille Soulier, head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk. “We hope this case will set a positive precedent and we urge the authorities to show the same commitment to resolving all crimes of violence against journalists, in order to end the impunity that has become the norm.”

More than 40 Honduran journalists have been gunned down in the past ten years. Honduras in ranked 129th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Date posted: March 29, 2014 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 3