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Provincial TV journalist found dead

(CPJ/IFEX) - New York, May 20, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Guatemalan authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the death of television journalist and teacher Yensi Roberto Ordoñez Galdámez, who was found dead Thursday in southern Escuintla province.

According to press reports, Ordoñez's body was discovered Thursday in a black vehicle parked outside the primary school where he taught. He had knife wounds in the neck and chest, according to the volunteer firefighters who found him. The fire department was tipped off by an anonymous call, the press said. Family members cited by Guatemala City-based daily Prensa Libre said that the television host had left home Wednesday night and never returned.

Ordoñez was a news reporter on Channel 14, a local cable television station, according to local news reports. Prensa Libre quoted the station's director, Roberto Santizo, as saying that Ordoñez had received threats in relation to his reporting. The journalist and teacher also hosted children's and music programs in Channel 14, the local press reported.

According to the journalist's family members, Ordoñez had told them he was being extorted for 25,000 Guatemalan Quetzales (about US$ 3,250), Prensa Libre reported. The press and investigators have not specified the nature of the alleged extortion.

"We are deeply troubled by the death of Yensi Roberto Ordoñez, who is said to have been threatened prior to his death," said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas. "We call on Guatemalan authorities to launch a thorough investigation of this brutal crime and consider the victim's journalism as a possible motive."
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