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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Five suspects arrested in killing of Honduran radio journalist Alfredo Villatoro




A Honduran judge ordered arrest warrants for five suspects in the kidnapping and killing of journalist Alfredo Villatoro, reported the news agency AFP on Tuesday, May 22.

The suspects, Yessica Yamileth Zambrano Ortiz, Katlin Zambrano Ortiz, and Marvin Enrique Oliva Navas, were arrested and accused of the crime because they possessed the cell phone chip from which calls were made to the family of the journalist, who was the news coordinator of the radio station HRN, reported Proceso. On Tuesday, May 22, the three suspects testified before the judge and said that they had simply found the cell phone chip on the street.

On May 17, the Honduran authorities initiated an investigation against two prisoners who are allegedly involved in the crime against the journalist who worked for the most important radio station in Honduras, HRN. One of the suspects is an active police officer, Miguel Ángel Álvarez, who currently is in prison for homicide, according to the National Autonomous University of Honduras chancellor, Julieta Castellanos, in the report by the newspaper La Tribuna.

After this fact was made public, the Honduran President Porfirio Lobo dismissed the director of the National Police on Tuesday, May 22, after secretary of security Pompeyo Bonilla announced that a police officer was involved in the crime against one of the most famous Honduran journalists, reported La Prensa Gráfica. The president also promised to purge the Honduran National Police, which is already under investigation for the killing of two college students, according to the radio station HRN.

The National Police confirmed that a phone call from the jail cell was made to the family of Villatoro while the journalist was still being held captive, according to La Prensa.



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