The lifeless body of Honduran journalist Erick Martinez Avila was found Monday in a sewer in Guasculile, on the road leading to the department of Olancho (northeast), and with him totals more than 20 journalists killed during the rule of Porfirio Lobo, according to figures from the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR).
Avila, 32 years old, was a member of a community that advocates for gay rights called Kukulcan Association and was the founder of the Diversity Movement in Resistance.
He had also been chosen as a candidate for deputy from the department of Francisco Morazan by the current Popular Refoundation Force (RPF), from the Freedom and Refoundation Party (Libre), which emerged from the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP), which was created after the coup against then President Manuel Zelaya in 2009.
The National Commissioner of Human Rights. Ramon Custodio, recently condemned the violence against the journalists’ union in Honduras, and reported that at least 21 media workers have been killed in this country in the last three years.
Police sources told local media that upon surveying the corpse, the cause of death was not determined because the victim presented no injuries. However, later on it was known that the death was from “asphyxia by strangulation.”
The body was moved to Tegucigalpa´s morgue where it was entered as an unknown, since it did not carry personal documents, and was later identified by his family.
Before Avila, the most recent assassination case was the Fausto Elio Hernandez, 54, who was attacked with a machete last March in the town of Sheba, 600 kilometers northeast of the capital.
The NCHR announced months ago that in 2011, Honduras held the highest homicide rate in the world, with 86 people killed per 100,000. In 2010 the figure was 82. The same Commission estimated that in this Central American nation a violent death occurs every 74 minutes.
*NOTE: Erick Martinez is also the 15th member of they LGBTTI community killed this year, 42nd since the coup. See: http://www.tiempo.hn/index.php/sucesos/10334-ultiman-periodista-gay-y-aspirante-a-diputado-