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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

U.S. assists Honduras in search for kidnapped journalist




Anibal Barrow. Photo: La Prensa.

The army and police in Honduras, with assistance from U.S. agents, continue the search for journalist Aníbal Barrow, kidnapped on June 24 in the city of San Pedro Sula, according to the daily El Heraldo. 

On June 24, armed subjects intercepted a vehicle carrying the the famous TV anchor along with his daughter-in-law, grandson, and a chauffeur. The kidnappers freed all the passengers except the journalist, according to the EFE news agency. Barrow hosts the morning TV program “Aníbal Barrow y nada más,” which is broadcasted on the Globo TV channel, according to IFEX. 

On the day of the kidnapping, the journalist had interviewed on his show a candidate for the vice-presidency, Juan Barahona, member of the leftist Partido Libertad y Refundación, which is also the party of deposed president Manuel Zelaya, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In addition, one of his sons, Aníbal Alejandro Barrow, is a candidate for a deputy position for the Partido Liberal, according to the daily La Prensa.

Reporters with Globo TV and Radio Globo have received constant attacks and threats since the coup in Honduras on June 28, 2009. Both stations have an editorial lean that sympathizes with the former president and with the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, created following the coup.

Last April, a reporter with Radio Globo escaped an armed attack unharmed and a month before that, another reporter from the same network suspended his TV and radio programs following several threats against him.

Six media works have been victims of kidnapping since 2009 and 28 journalists have been killed between 2010 and 2013, according to EFE. One of the most talked about cases was the one dealing with the the famous radio host Alfredo Villatoro, killed in May 2012 after being held for six days. The group Reporters Without Borders reveals that the majority of those journalists killed have expressed their opposition to the 2009 coup. 

Dina Meza, a journalist who was briefly exiled from the country following several death threats, told Reporters Without Borders that the risks for the Honduran press will reach its apex during the upcoming November 10 elections and asked for "international community keep their eyes on Honduras."  



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