Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Honduras: Cameraman killed three years after being tortured


Cameraman Manuel Murillo Varela, who was 32, was found dead on 24 October 2013 with three gunshot wounds in his face in the city of Comayagüela in the capital district of Honduras.

Murillo had been the beneficiary of precautionary measures from the government since 25 February 2010 when they were authorised by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

The IACHR granted the measures to the cameraman after he and a colleague were kidnapped and tortured on 2 February 2010 by plainclothes police officers who took them to a secret prison.

According to reports that Murillo made to the Committee for the Families of the Detained and the Disappeared (COFADEH) and the Commission on Truth and Reconciliation (CVR), the police officers who kidnapped him asked him and his colleague to hand over videos they had taken of protests by the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP). He was told his family would be killed if he did not comply.

In the statements made to the COFADEH and the CVR, his life and that of his two daughters were in danger. He said he knew that people wanted him dead.

In 2008 Murillo was the official cameraman for President Manuel Zelaya Rosales, who was later ousted from office. He also worked for Globo TV in 2010 and more recently he worked with candidates from the Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE) political party. He was also an active leader of a scout group.