Missing Honduras reporter found dead
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Missing Honduras reporter found dead

The body of a missing Honduras reporter was found Monday, reinforcing the country’s status as one of the region’s most dangerous for media workers.

The body of Herlyn Espinal, a television reporter who was reported missing on Sunday, was discovered the next day behind a rock next to a highway in northern Honduras. He had been shot four times.

Espinal, 32, worked for the Hoy Mismo news program in San Pedro Sula, the city with the world’s highest murder rate. He was last seen getting into a white car around 3 a.m. on Sunday.

National Police subcommissioner Naun Hernández said the police are investigating two possible suspects in connection with the case. One has been detained.

Espinal is the 45th journalist killed in Honduras since 2003, according to the governmental human rights commission. Only four of these cases have resulted in arrests, while the majority have never been solved.

Honduras is ranked 129th out of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders’ most recent global ranking of press freedom.

“We condemn this crime and hope it doesn’t become just one more crime that ends with impunity,” said Lizeth García, the president of a society of journalists in northern Honduras. “We hope they tell us once and for all if it was because of his work as a journalist or what the motive was.”

Security Minister Arturo Corrales says it is unlikely Espinal was killed because of his work as a journalist.