Journalists Killed in 2011 - Motive Unconfirmed: Luz Marina Paz Villalobos

Cadena Hondureña de Noticias
December 6, 2011, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Unidentified gunmen fired at least 37 times at Paz, who was in a car near her home, The Associated Press reported. The journalist and her cousin, Delmer Osmar Canales Gutiérrez, who worked as her driver, were both killed. Paz was testing a car she was considering buying from an army colonel, Marco Tulio Leiva, press reports said.

Paz, 38, was the host of the morning news program "3 en la noticia" (Three on the News) on the Cadena Hondureña de Noticias (Honduran News Network). She had also worked for Radio Globo, a radio station known for its criticism of the 2009 ouster of former President Manuel Zelaya, news reports said.

Authorities said they were investigating several potential motives for the attack. Héctor Iván Mejía, a spokesman for the Ministry of Security, told reporters that investigators were looking into the background of Canales and were considering an attempted carjacking as a possibility. Mejía added that "another question [was] the journalistic work."

Officials were also looking into reports that the journalist had received threats related to her refusal to cooperate with criminals trying to extort money from a small business she ran.

Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.

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