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Radio station staff receive death threats after commenting on aftermath of the coup

(C-Libre/IFEX) - The owner of La Voz de Occidente radio station, in Santa Rosa de Copán, western Honduras, and the director of the news programme "Sucesos", Manuel Gavarette, have been receiving threatening calls since April 2010.

On 19 May, station owner Arturo Rendón Pineda filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor on Common Crimes, in connection with the death threats sent to him, his son, Rafael Antonio Rendón, and Gavarrete.

The latest threat was received on 17 May, while the news programme was being broadcast. According to Rendón, "Sucesos" expressed concern about the aftermath of the 28 June 2009 coup and the ongoing violations being committed by groups and individuals linked to the coup. "More than six journalists and a number of activists from the 'Honduran Resistance' have been targetted," Rendón noted.

Rendón also noted that bullets were fired outside the radio station and his house by unknown individuals who were in the vicinity in the early hours of each morning, from 12 to 16 April.

Rendón sees these actions as attempts to intimidate the station's staff. Given the authorities' apparent indifference, and their failure to investigate the incidents, he felt compelled to approach the Public Prosecutor's Office.

Gavarrete said that his wife had also received a threat, warning her that the assailants would "put an end" to her, Gavarrete and their sons, if the journalist "did not shut up".

Rendón urged the authorities to launch an investigation and identify those responsible for the threats. He also called for precautionary measures for all the individuals who are at risk.

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