Missing Honduran journalist Erick Martinez found dead

Police drug squad guard at least 400 kg of cocaine seized in La Mosquitia, in the Caribbean coast of Honduras, on 7 May 2012 Increased drug-trafficking is one of the reasons for the high murder rate

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Honduran journalist and gay rights campaigner Erick Martinez has been found dead two days after going missing, officials say.

Local media quoted police as saying Mr Martinez showed signs of strangulation.

The motive for his reported killing remains unclear but rights groups say more than 20 media workers have been killed in Honduras since 2009.

The country has the world's highest murder rate: 86 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to UN figures.

Mr Martinez's body was found by the roadside in the village of Guasculile, north of the capital, Tegucigalpa.

He worked for an association defending lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

Mr Martinez had also been chosen last year as a candidate for a coalition of parties that emerged after the ousting of President Manuel Zelaya nearly three years ago.

According to rights groups, more than 20 journalists have been killed in Honduras since 2009 when the military helped to overthrow Mr Zelaya.

It has not been established if all the murders were work-related.

But last December, the country's human rights commissioner warned that journalists were facing a growing risk amid a rise in drug trafficking and other organised crime.

A report by the commissioner in April said that at least 20 members of the LGBT community had been killed between 2010 and 2011.

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