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Journalist tortured and killed

(RSF/IFEX) - Víctor Hugo Juárez, a journalist and businessman who owned two online media outlets, Wanima News and Guatemala Empresarial, was found murdered on 27 September 2010 at the home of a friend, Byron Dávila Díaz, who was also killed. The news agency CERIGUA said both men appeared to have been tortured and strangled. The motive is not yet known. Juárez had worked for two dailies, "Siglo XXI" and "Nuestro Diario", in the past.

Although the assumption seems to be that Juárez's murder was not linked to his work as a journalist, Reporters Without Borders urges the police to investigate this possibility. Guatemala continues to be a dangerous country for journalists even if there have been fewer cases of violence involving media personnel this year.

The police should definitely work on the assumption that the theft of computer equipment and files from journalist Marvin David Del Cid's home on 28 September was linked to his work for the daily "elPeriódico". Del Cid has been working on several sensitive stories including alleged irregularities in a government arms acquisition, suspected corruption in a government solidarity fund and a drug-trafficking case.

Journalists can pay dearly for covering this kind of story. During a previous break-in at Del Cid's home on 24 June, the words "You are going to die" were left on his bathroom mirror. Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to provide him with adequate protection.

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