Brussels, 8 December 2011 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC has joined with its Honduran affiliates, the CUTH, CTH and CGT, in firmly condemning the murder of the well-known journalist Luz Marina Paz Villalobos and her cameraman Delmer Canales. They were shot to death, riddled with bullets, by assassins travelling on two motorbikes.
Paz Villalobos was working for Tres en la Noticia, a programme on Radio Globo that maintained a firmly critical line regarding the events that unfolded following the coup d’état in June 2009. Over the last six months the show had been broadcast by the CHN (Cadena Hondureña de Noticias) radio station.
“With Paz Villalobos, the number of journalists assassinated since the 2009 coup has risen to sixteen,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. “These killings are totally unacceptable, as journalists are key players in democracy.”
According to the information received by the ITUC, the aim of these murders is to silence any media investigating the corruption within the Honduran police and armed forces. The ITUC also underlined that although the media has condemned the murder of Luz Marina Paz, their owners do not respect Honduran journalists’ right to organise in unions. Canal 10, for instance, dismissed the entire executive of the newly formed union at the TV station.
The ITUC has written to the Honduran authorities, calling on them to end the repression and the denial of the right to organise and freedom of expression. It also urged them to ensure that the killing of Luz Marina Paz Villalobos be promptly and thoroughly investigated and that those responsible be tracked down and punished with the full force of the law. (See the letter from the ITUC to the Honduran authorities.)
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