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La Voz de Zacate Grande journalist targeted

(C-Libre/IFEX) - Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 19 April 2011 - Pedro Canales, a journalist for the community-based radio station La Voz de Zacate Grande, was targeted on two separate occasions on 16 April 2011. The incidents occurred in the Zacate Grande peninsula, in southern Honduras.

On the morning of 16 April, Canales realised that someone had sabotaged his vehicle by inserting "two nails in the car tires in order to make me lose control and get into an accident." That same afternoon, he was stopped by two men who threatened him and pointed their guns at him.

Canales is being targeted because of his role, as a journalist and as the director of the Association for the Development of the Zacate Grande Peninsula (ADEZPA). He has been vocal against the actions of landowner and developer Miguel Facussé who has been trying to evict members of twelve local communities who have been inhabiting the area for more than 120 years.

As a result of this struggle, in April 2010 the Public Prosecutor's Office initiated legal action against a number of people linked to the radio station, including Canales, accusing them of having seized Facussé's land, and for having operating a radio station illegally without the proper operating licence and the permission of the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL). Since that time, members of La Voz de Zacate Grande have continued to face harassment and intimidation tactics.

C-Libre urges the authorities to uphold freedom of expression by putting an end to the threats, harassment and attacks against the journalists, media workers and personnel of La Voz de Zacate Grande. It also calls on the government of Porfirio Lobo Sosa to uphold the commitments it made on 4 November 2010 to the United Nations Human Rights Council, by thoroughly investigating murders and attacks on journalists and by legally recognising community-based media outlets.

(Please note this is an abridged translation)

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