Top Story — Honduran radio journalist Angel Alfredo Villatoro was kidnapped Wednesday just a few days after authorities discovered the body of another journalist, Erick Martínez, on the side of a road in eastern Honduras. Witnesses of the kidnapping reported that Villatoro was taken by “young gang members” at dawn on his way to work at HRN radio station in Tegucigalpa. The Honduran government and HRN colleagues have issued statements pleading that Villatoro’s captors release him unharmed. Meanwhile, little information has emerged about the killing of Martínez, a member of the Diversity Resistance Movement who worked for LGBT rights organization Asociación Kukulcan. Martínez went missing Saturday and his body was found on the side of a road on Monday, making him the nineteenth Honduran journalist to be murdered since the country’s 2009 coup. While Honduran police say that four of the murders are under investigation, no arrests have been made.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican soldiers in Nuevo Leon detained 17 young suspects who allegedly belong to the Gulf drug cartel, along with a Cuban man said to be giving them special training to join the cartel.
- The U.S. Border Patrol announced Tuesday that the organization will shift its focus to intelligence-gathering as rates of illegal immigration continue to drop.
- Mexican authorities released a video reenactment of the murder of Canadian graduate student Ximena Osegueda and her Mexican boyfriend Alejandro Honoria, who disappeared last December. Police arrested five murder suspects on Monday.
- Jamaica’s interest payments on its debt were 10 percent of its gross domestic product, the highest of all countries in the world last year, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
- A Canadian man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the beating death of a 19 year-old Canadian outside a nightclub in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic last year.
- Two Cuban-American senators and four House members wrote a letter to the head of Ikea North America demanding information about whether or not the company used Cuban dissidents to manufacture furniture and other goods in the 1980s.
- The Salvadoran government said it would not extradite 13 former members of the military to Spain so that they could face charges for the 1989 murder of 6 Jesuit priests and a woman and her daughter in San Salvador. Five of the murdered priests were from Spain.
- Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noreiga was taken from prison to the hospital on Wednesday for treatment for a respiratory infection and a high fever.
- Alleged FARC financial chief Wilson Tapiero was ordered detained indefinitely by an Ecuadoran judge after Tapiero was apprehended Monday just a few miles from the Ecuador-Colombia border.
- Former Venezuelan Supreme Court justice Eladio Aponte has been meeting with officials from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration after he claimed he could prove that Venezuelan officials had links to drug trafficking and crime.
- The second day of a transport strike in La Paz, Bolivia has turned violent as police, strikers and residents alike are injured by flying rocks at makeshift barricades and roadblocks.
- Convicted murderer Joran van der Sloot will challenge an extradition request by the U.S. to face charges in the disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba. He is serving a 28-year sentence in Peru for killing a different young woman, Stephany Flores.
- The Argentine Senate is debating a “dignifed death” law that would permit the terminally ill and those in a vegetative state to turn off life support without an order from a judge. The measure would not permit euthanasia, and is expected to pass.
- Brazil has cancelled plans to build two new nuclear power stations as a result of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan after last year’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.
- A group of German cult survivors are planning to sue Germany and Chile for failing to prevent decades of child abuse by sect members in Chile’s notorious “Colonia Dignidad” settlement.
- The capsized Brazilian ship “Endless Sea” is leaking fuel off the coast of Antarctica, but the problem likely can’t be resolved until next October when the weather improves.
Image: clasesdeperiodismo @ Flickr.