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NGO urges probe of Honduras journalist killings

allati TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – Press groups on Monday called for an international investigation into attacks on journalists in Honduras after a radio host was killed by machete blows, bringing to 19 the number of media employees slain over the past two years.

Reporters Without Borders said Fausto Hernandez Arteaga, 54, of Radio Alegre de Colon was killed Sunday in Saba in the Colon province in northern Honduras. Hernandez Arteaga was director of the station’s “Voice of the News” program.

The killing “shows once again the chaotic situation of lack of safety in which Honduras is submerged,” the press group said in a statement. “An international investigation mission should take over the most serious cases.”

Saba police spokesman Carlos Rodriguez said Hernandez Arteaga was slain “for personal reasons, it was a quarrel.”

“The two men were walking down a street and all of a sudden they started shouting at each other, they took out their machetes and attacked each other,” Rodriguez said.

But Carlos Ortiz, president of the Honduran Press Association, said “the most recent case could have been for personal reasons, or because something was said about third parties on his radio program.”

Ortiz said that “since 2010, the association has been demanding a national and international investigation of the crimes against journalists.”

Ortiz said 19 journalists have been killed over the last two years in Honduras and said “there are neither perpetrators (arrested) nor thorough investigations.”

(This version CORRECTS name of journalist)

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