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4 Salvadoran gang members are sentenced in newsman’s killing

October 21, 2016

Four gang members linked to the March murder of a Salvadoran radio journalist were sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison, state prosecutors said.

Authorities were still hunting three other members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang to put them on trial.

The journalist, Nicolas Humberto Garcia, 21, was hacked and shot to death on March 10 in front of the Expressa radio station in the western rural town of Tacuba. He had worked there since the age of 13, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

His hosting of a program on violence prevention was believed to be the motive behind the murder, which was internationally condemned, including by UNESCO, the UN’s cultural arm.

The head of El Salvador’s APES journalists’ association, Serafin Valencia, welcomed Friday’s sentencing. But he said authorities had not done enough to bring those who planned the attack to justice.

State prosecutors on their Twitter account named the four convicted gang members as Noel del Cid, Santos Hernandez, Manuel Garcia and Hector Garcia.

El Salvador suffers the most deadly violence of any country outside of a war zone. An average of 15 people are murdered each day, most of them by gangs.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.