Radio Journalist Gunned Down in Honduras Capital

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A Honduran reporter was gunned down by assassins on motorbikes in Tegucigalpa, bringing the number of journalists killed in the country since the 2009 coup to 17.

Luz Marina Paz Villalobos was driving to work on Tuesday morning with a man who has been identified as her cousin, when gunmen on at least one motorbike pulled up alongside them. The assassins fired more than 47 high-caliber bullets into the vehicle, killing both.

EFE reported that sources said Paz had been threatened for refusing to pay extortionists’ demands for payments over a small business that she ran. La Tribuna said she had received threats from gang members demanding a “war tax.”

Paz hosted a radio news show called “Three in the News,” which dealt with crime, among other themes. However, as InSight Crime has noted, many killings of journalists in Honduras have been linked to political motives.

The country’s National Commission for Human Rights said in September that 23 journalists have been murdered in the country since 2007. Paz is the 17th since the 2009 coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

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