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Environmental reporter gets death threats in Honduras

(C-Libre/IFEX) - 27 November 2012 - After having received numerous death threats via e-mail, journalist Juana Dolores Valenzuela Calix has told C-Libre that for the first time in her 30-year career, she fears for her life.

The journalist, who is also an environmental activist, said that the threats are linked to her current fight against an open-pit mining project for which transnational companies and some local groups have invested millions of dollars.

Valenzuela said "Those who know me know that I am not a timid person. In fact I often make strong statements about logging, water, and mining - issues that are often avoided in Honduras. But today something tells me I need to be careful."

She has been receiving threats, insults and intimidating messages for weeks via e-mail, but she says the intensity of the threats has increased in recent days. The following is a translation of the last e-mail she received:

"because of what you say we will kill you one day soon, when are you going to learn to respect ... you're old and you never learned ... son of a bitch with language like that, your coffin won't be adjusted for your tongue."

Valenzuela said this isn't the first time she has received this sort of harassment. Her work as a journalist reporting on environmental issues has forced her to leave the country in the past to let things quiet down, but she returned to her work defending the country's natural resources.

In an act of solidarity many environmental groups organised an emergency meeting to discuss the threats against Valenzuela and take action to protect her.

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