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Journalist, congressional hopeful is shot dead in Honduras

Posted June 15

— A Honduran journalist running for a congressional seat was shot to death outside his home Thursday in the Caribbean coast city of La Ceiba, authorities and colleagues reported.

Security Minister Julian Pacheco said Victor Funez was intercepted by a helmeted gunman on a motorcycle before dawn as the journalist was about to enter his house in the neighborhood of La Gloria.

Surveillance camera video provided by police shows the attacker shooting from close range at the head of the victim, who falls to the sidewalk. The attacker appears to fire at the body twice more and take the victim's wallet before fleeing.

Police said they arrested and were questioning a suspect.

Funez, 36, was better known as "El Masa" and directed the nighttime show "Panorama Nocturno" on the local channel 45 station.

Station owner Rodolfo Irias described him as a "great journalist."

"He was beloved by viewers because he carried out intense and frequent campaigns for the benefit of them and the community," Irias said.

Funez recently won a primary in Atlantida province and was preparing to run in November elections as a congressional candidate for the governing National Party.

"This crime will not go unpunished," Pacheco said at a news conference.

Funez is the 70th journalist slain in Honduras since 2001, according to the governmental National Council on Human Rights. About 90 percent of those killings have never been solved.

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