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  HOME | Central America

Brother of Former Honduran President Slain

TEGUCIGALPA – A brother of former President Rafael Callejas was murdered Tuesday in the Honduran capital, an eyewitness told the media.

Jose Eduardo Callejas was shot execution-style by two assailants, the witness, who declined to give his name out of concern for his own safety, told Radio America by telephone from the scene of the killing.

The witness, a business partner of the victim, said he met J.E. Callejas at a garage where the former president’s brother was having work done on his car.

Two men arrived on a motorcycle, walked up to Callejas and then forced his head down and shot him in the neck, while ordering the witness to look away.

“They shot him. Me, they threatened,” the witness said.

Rafael Callejas, 66, rushed to the garage after learning of the murder. In brief comments to reporters, he said his brother was 47 and that his business was real estate.

The elder Callejas, who was president from 1990-1994, is currently head of the Honduran soccer federation.

The murder of the former head of state’s brother comes a day after a mayor running for another term in the Nov. 29 general elections was ambushed and killed by unidentified gunmen in the northern province of Yoro.

Jocon Mayor Nelson Javier Portillo and a bodyguard, who was not identified, were killed Monday, the National Police said.

“There was a criminal attack against the mayor, who was traveling with his bodyguards. Initially, it was reported that only one of the bodyguards died, but they informed us recently that the mayor also died,” National Police spokesman Orlin Cerrato told Efe.

“Another bodyguard was wounded and we suspect that one of the people who attacked (the mayor) also died and another was wounded,” the police spokesman said.

Portillo, a member of the main opposition National Party, was ambushed in a remote area that can only be reached on foot, leaving investigators with only sketchy information so far, Cerrato said.

Other police spokesmen told Honduran media the ambush occurred in the town of Limares and that the mayor, who had been on the campaign trail for three days, was not using his armored automobile because of the rough terrain.

Two of Portillo’s brothers were recently murdered, leading investigators to focus on revenge as a potential motive for the killing and possibly ruling out political reasons linked to the crisis caused by the June 28 coup that ousted President Mel Zelaya. EFE
 

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