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Radio director killed in Candelaria

(C-Libre/IFEX) - Nery Geremias Orellana, 26, director of Radio Joconguera in the municipality of Candelaria, Lempira Department, died on 14 July 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at the Sensuntepeque municipal hospital in El Salvador after suffering a gunshot wound to the head.

Orellana was found, after being shot, at 9:30 a.m. on a road to the village of San Lorenzo, and was taken to a public clinic where he was examined before being taken by ambulance to Sensuntepeque.

At 9:26 a.m. Orellana had spoken with Radio Progreso and confirmed his attendance at a community radio meeting that was to take place on 15 July in La Esperanza, Intibucá. Minutes later he was shot by unknown assailants while driving his motorcycle from his home in the village of San Lorenzo to the radio station in Candelaria.

Father Jose Amilcar Lara, a parish priest in Candelaria, told C-Libre that the journalist had offered air time on the station for the Catholic church to share its messages, and had done the same for the Frente Amplio de Resistencia Popular (FARP) political party. The priest also said that in the past when he, the mayor, and another journalist, Hernán Castro, had received death threats, Radio Joconguera reported on them.

Despite the fact that it is a commercial station, Radio Joconguera also serves the community and regularly denounces atrocities committed against communities in the area.

As well as being the director of Radio Joconguera, Orellana was also a Radio Progreso correspondent, a member of the Alternative Network of Community Radio Stations and of the FARP and a dedicated member of the local Catholic community.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)
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