Honduran video journalist shot to death in Mexico

Honduran video journalist shot to death in Mexico


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XALAPA, Mexico (AP) — Authorities in the Mexican state of Veracruz said Monday that they were investigating the killing of a Honduran video journalist who had sought refugee status in Mexico.

In a statement, the state prosecutor's office said Edwin Rivera Paz was shot to death Sunday in the town of Acayucan. It said the body was identified by a relative.

Raul Otoniel Morazan, Honduras' consul general in Veracruz, called in an interview with local media outlet e-veracruz.com for all levels of the Mexican government to get to the bottom of the killing. A request for comment from the Honduran Embassy in Mexico City was not immediately answered.

Marta Sanchez Soler, coordinator of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, a nonprofit group supporting migrants travelling through the region, said in a statement that Rivera fled Honduras after his colleague Igor Padilla was killed.

Padilla was shot in January by four men in police uniforms in the northern Honduras city of San Pedro Sula. Padilla had covered crime and also hosted a humorous television show, and Rivera was his cameraman.

It was not immediately clear how long Rivera had been in Acayucan. The town lies on a heavily used route for Central Americans fleeing violence. The migrants are preyed on by organized crime groups and Veracruz is one of Mexico's most violent states.

The number of people applying for refugee status in Mexico more than doubled last year and is predicted to double again this year as Central Americans increasingly view it as a viable place to escape the gang violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

On Sunday, Mexico's Roman Catholic Church decried the rising number of homicides across the country.

"This is not a single corner of this country where Mexicans can feel safe and live in peace," the Mexican Council of Bishops said in an editorial.

The council's statement was published the same day that prosecutors in Baja California Sur state said the bodies of two men and a woman were left in a car in the once-peaceful resort of Cabo San Lucas. All three apparently had bullet wounds.

The twin resorts of Los Cabos have been hit by a wave of grisly slayings in recent months.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz said Sunday they had identified the bodies of three women aged 17, 19 and 26 who had been missing since May 1. The bodies were found in a clandestine burial pit in the Veracruz township of Atzacan.

In May, Mexico recorded its highest monthly murder total in at least 20 years. In 2011, the previous worst year, homicides were concentrated in states like Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas.

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Associated Press writers Christopher Sherman and Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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