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Criminal investigations police arrest radio producer and environmental activist

(C-Libre/IFEX) - On 5 July 2011, the National Criminal Investigations Police (Policía Nacional de Investigación Criminal, DNIC) in the municipality of El Porvenir, in the department of Francisco Morazán, arrested social commentator, professor and environmental activist Carlos Amador, according to the Ecumenical Observatory for Human Rights in Honduras (Observatorio Ecuménico para los Derechos Humanos en Honduras, OEDHH). A statement from the OEDHH said the arrest was carried out by five DNIC officers as Amador was on his way to work at the Gonzalo Barahona Institute.

Amador was originally taken in a police patrol car to the El Porvenir municipal offices, then later transported in a privately-owned vehicle to the city of Talanga, where he was placed in a DNIC jail cell.

The arrest was carried out in accordance with an order issued by a tribunal in the municipality of Talanga. The order, dated, 25 June, stemmed from a complaint filed by the Raudales Urrutia family, who accused Amador of opposing the implementation of a Forestry Management Plan authorised by the Forest Conservation Institute. The management plan covers a 600 hectare area in the municipality.

Amador directs the "Direct Line to the Public" ("En línea directa con el pueblo") news programme broadcast by the Porvenir Stereo radio station. According to the OEDHH statement, Amador has openly supported the actions waged by more than 1,000 families in the area against the exploitation of local forest resources in an attempt to protect water sources that they have preserved for hundreds of years and that could now be taken away as a result of a development licence granted by the government.

Finally, the OEDHH said that the local judicial authorities are complicit with the Raudales Urrutia family in this retaliatory action against Amador.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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