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Journalist, human rights defender killed

(C-Libre/IFEX) - 7 May 2012 - Journalist Erick Martínez Ávila, 32, who had worked for the Honduran LGBT group Kukulcán in their monitoriting, evaluation and public relations department, and who was also a candidate for the internal elections of the Partido Libertad Y Refundación (Libre) party, was found dead on 7 May 2012.

According to police, the journalist had been reported missing on 5 May and it was not until 7 May that people in Guasculile discovered the body in a ditch beside a road connecting Olancho department to Tegucigalpa.

It had been three weeks since Martínez had announced his candidacy for deputy of Francisco Morazán department in the Libre party, which is a political wing of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) that was created after the 2009 coup d'état. He had planned to be part of an FNRP Sexual Diversity working group.

The motive for Martínez's murder has not been uncovered, but it seems that the cause of death was strangulation. Journalists that worked with him said he had not been concerned for his safety.

The last time Martínez was seen in public was during an International Workers' Day demonstration on 1 May when he had attended with the LGBT community.

Martínez had studied at the journalism school at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (National Autonomous University of Honduras), where he had earned the respect of his teachers and fellow students for his dedication to various causes.

Since November 2003, C-Libre has documented the violent killings of at least 28 journalists and community based workers.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)
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