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article imageMotorcycle gunmen kill journalist in Honduras

By AFP     Sep 28, 2020 in World

A Honduran journalist who was a sharp government critic has been killed in a drive-by shooting, police said Monday, bringing the number of reporters killed in the country to 85 in two decades.

Luis Almendares, 35, was visiting a store in Comayagua, 60 kilometers (40 miles) north of the capital Tegucigalpa, when he was shot multiple times on Sunday, police said.

"He was intercepted by two individuals on a motorcycle, who shot him repeatedly," police said in a statement.

The journalist was taken to hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and died early Monday, according to Amada Ponce, director of the Committee for Free Expression.

Almendares, a freelancer who used social media to criticize the government of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, had repeatedly complained to police and the country's National Protection System over receiving death threats, the rights group said.

The government set up the National Protection System in 2015 in response to concerns expressed by the Organization of American States and the UN over the high number of killings involving rights defenders, lawyers and journalists.

In June, a journalist and his cameraman were shot dead in the Caribbean port of La Ceiba. Two gang members were arrested as suspects in that killing.

However, Ponce told AFP that more than 90 percent of the 85 murders of journalists carried out in Honduras since 2001 have gone unpunished.


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