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World's Press condemns latest journalist murder in Honduras

PARIS, FRANCE / DARMSTADT, GERMANY / TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS: The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have condemned the murder of Alfredo Villatoro, one of the most influential and widely respected journalists in Honduras, and called on President Porfirio Lobo to ensure that the murderers are quickly brought to justice.
"The threat of violence that exists in Honduras creates a climate of fear that promotes self-censorship, gravely undermining citizens' rights to freedom of information," the global press organisations said in a letter to the President.

Villatoro's body was discovered on the outskirts of the capital, Tegucigalpa, on 16 May after a six-day kidnap ordeal. The journalist had been shot twice in the head.

Murder is one of many

His murder follows that of journalist and gay rights activist Erick Martínez Ávila on 7 May. The climate of impunity that prevails in the country has encouraged armed attacks on the homes and property of journalists on a regular basis.

Villatoro's death brings to 26 the number of journalists killed in Honduras in the past decade. Twenty of these deaths occurred in the period immediately after the June 2009 coup d'état that brought President Porfirio Lobo to power, a statistic that places the country alongside Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines as one of the most dangerous in the world for journalists.

The full letter to the President can be read here.

Journalists, editors and publishers who recently attended WAN-IFRA's América Latina conference in Santiago, Chile, underlined the gravity of the situation facing the continent's press, calling for an end to impunity and greater solidarity between media to face up to violence against journalists. For more information on their statements, go here.


WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18 000 publications, 15 000 online sites and over 3000 companies in more than 120 countries. The organisation was created by the merger of the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the research and service organisation for the news publishing industry.
Go to: http://www.wan-ifra.org



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