Local TV presenter Yensi Roberto Ordoñez Galdámez was found murdered yesterday in Nueva Concepción, in the southern department of Escuintla. The motive is not yet known but he had reportedly been threatened and harassed in connection with his work as journalist. Relatives said unidentified individuals recently extorted 25,000 quetzals (200 euros) from him.
Aged 24, Ordoñez presented a news programme on municipal TV station Canal 14. He had also hosted a children’s programme for the past seven years. His body was found in a car outside a school where he taught classes. He had been stabbed.
Reporters Without Borders urges investigators not to rule out the possibility that the motive was linked to Ordoñez’s work as a journalist, and to do everything possible to identify and arrest those responsible without delay.
Meanwhile, the NGO Cerigua reports that a court in the northeastern city of Chiquimula issued an order on 18 May confirming local journalist Vasni Vásquez’s detention. Vásquez, who edits the Q’Rollo website, was arrested in early April while covering a kidnap victim’s release.
The police arrested him as a participant in the abduction, although he had accreditation from the Chiquimula Journalists Network (RCS) and although the other suspects arrested in the case denied his involvement. This denial makes the detention order even more incomprehensible. In the absence of evidence, Reporters Without Borders calls for his immediate release.
The frequency of violence against journalists in Central America is alarming. In neighbouring Honduras, which suffers from both criminal and political violence, Luis Mendoza, 35, the owner of the Canal 24 TV station, was murdered yesterday in Danli, in the eastern department of El Paraíso. He was shot by four heavily-armed men who intercepted his car.
Photo: Prensa Libre