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Honduras: Mutilated body in San Pedro Sula identified as journalist Anibal Barrow

Police found the clothing missing journalist Anibal Barrow was last seen wearing near a partially buried and decomposing headless torso in the northern city of Villanueva.

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Undated file photo of Honduran journalist Anibal Barrow, who disappeared on June 24, 2013. (AFP/Getty Images)

Honduran police believe a charred and mutilated body found Tuesday in the northern city of San Pedro Sula is that of journalist Anibal Barrow, missing since last month.

If confirmed, Barrow's death would bring to 28 the number of Honduran journalists murdered since 2010, Reuters cited the country's human rights commission as saying.

National Police Chief Juan Carlos Bonilla said officers found the clothing Barrow was last seen wearing and a savings account booklet in his name near the partially buried and decomposing headless torso in the northern city of Villanueva.

The body had also had its arms and legs removed, Bonilla said. Later on Tuesday, police said they had also found the victim's head, arms, legs and feet.

Bonilla said there was "strong evidence" that the remains belonged to Barrow.

Barrow, 58, a popular morning news anchor on Globo TV, one of Honduras' largest broadcasters, was kidnapped by at least 10 armed assailants on June 24 in downtown San Pedro Sula, the Associated Press reported.

Three family members abducted with him were quickly released unharmed.

Barrow's truck was found abandoned with a bullet hole and traces of blood last month.

Four men have been arrested, but no motive established.

Reuters quoted Juan Mairena, president of the country's journalist association, as saying:

"This horrendous crime intimidates all Honduran journalists. We strongly urge authorities to clarify ... whether or not the motive [for the crime] was his profession."

Barrow's son, also named Anibal, is running for congress in November elections.

Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, according to the United Nations, while San Pedro Sula is the world's most murderous city.

Violence had surged in recent years, mainly due to Mexican drug gangs using the country as a transit point for contraband.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/130710/honduras-charred-mutilated-body-san-pedro-sula-journalist-anib