Journalist killer in Honduras sentenced

The killer of journalist and journalism professor Jorge Alberto Orellana was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the killing. The killer also received an additional 10 years for the robbery associated with the murder.

Orellana was killed in April 2010 during the course of a robbery.

This case is important to note because the killing had nothing to do with Orellana’s profession. He was killed as part of a robbery.

Reports around the world point out that since 2009 more than 30 media workers have been killed in Honduras, making the place one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world. Yet, rarely in those reports is the context that the country is the most dangerous place for ANYONE with 86.2 murders per 100,000 people.

The Committee to Protect Journalists notes that only five of the killings since 1992 are connected to the journalists doing their jobs.

Too often the raw number of murdered journalists is used without the context of the circumstances about their killings.

The Honduran government says it is moving on the murder cases. The sentencing of Orellana’s murderer is a start.

And remember, that many more lawyers — especially human rights lawyers — have been killed than journalists. And in the cases of many of the lawyers, a better case can be made that their murders are tied to their work than the murders of the journalists.

What is needed in Honduras is more support from the people for a more aggressive use of the law to investigate, prosecute and jail the murderers of journalists, lawyers, students, street vendors and every day people.

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Filed under Central America, Honduras, Killings

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