(AP) TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras
There is “strong evidence” a charred and mutilated body found Tuesday in the northern city of San Pedro Sula is that of a journalist missing since last month, police said.
National Police Chief Juan Carlos Bonilla said investigators found a bank book and a credit card with Anibal Barrow’s name and clothing and a belt that resemble what he was wearing on June 24, when armed men kidnapped him while he was driving in his truck. The items were buried on the riverbank of the Siboney lagoon, near where the body was found buried, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of San Pedro Sula.
Bonilla said DNA tests are being done to identify the body. Barrow`s truck was found abandoned with a bullet hole and traces of blood last month. He was taken along with three family members, but the others were quickly released unharmed.
The 62-year-old journalist had a popular daily morning news show called “Anibal and Nothing More” on Globo television in San Pedro Sula.
His son, also named Anibal, is running for congress in November elections with the opposition Liberal Party.
According to government statistics, 33 journalists have been killed in the last four years.
U.N. data shows Honduras has some of the highest crime rates in the world, including for journalists.
Reporters covering crime, corruption and politics have been particularly vulnerable to attacks crippling Honduran journalists’ ability to do their jobs, according to the international Committee to Protect Journalists.