The Inter American Press Association condemned the abduction Wednesday morning of Honduras journalist Alfredo Villatoro, asking the country’s president, Porfirio Lobo, to take immediate action in the case. It also urged the government to organize means of ensuring the safety of members of the press and put an end to the impunity that surrounds other cases of violence against news media and individual journalists.
Villatoro, with the Tegucigalpa radio station HRN, was driving at 4:45 a.m. on his way to the station, where he is in charge of the newscast, when he was intercepted and kidnapped by at least six assailants who were riding in two pickup trucks, a police spokesman reported. Villatoro, known in various local media as one of the Central American country’s most influential radio reporters, had reported receiving death threats.
Villatoro’s abduction occurred two days after the discovery of the body of journalist, gay community activist and National Popular Resistance Front member Erick Martínez Ávila. The reasons for his having been killed are so far unknown.