Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that TV journalist Aníbal Barrow’s dismembered remains were found on 9 July by a lagoon near Villanueva, around 20 km from the spot on the outskirts of the city of San Pedro Sula where he was kidnapped on 24 June.
“We express our solidarity with Barrow’s family and all Honduran journalists, who are traumatized by this barbaric crime,” Reporters Without Borders said. “While the investigation has already produced some results, the murder will remain unpunished as long as the instigators have not been identified and brought to trial.”
Reporters Without Borders added: “It seems highly probably that Barrow’s murder was linked to his work as a journalist.”
The authorities confirmed yesterday that the partially burned and dismembered body found the day before was Barrow’s. It is thought he was killed on the day he was abducted. No ransom request had been made.
Four persons have been arrested on suspicion of directly participating in the crime and at least four others are being actively sought by the police, who have said it will not go unpunished.
According to a protected witness, a group of criminals operating in the area were paid 400,000 lempiras (15,000 euros) to kill Barrow. Some news outlets are saying the money came from a “highly-placed” person.
The National Commission for Human Rights (CONADEH) said Barrow was the 36th journalist to have been killed in the past decade. According to the tally kept by Reporters Without Borders, his death brings the number of journalist killed since the June 2009 coup d’état to 26.