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Canal 36 television station journalists receive death threats

(C-Libre/IFEX) - According to the newspaper "El Libertador", journalists Esdras Amado López and Mario Rolando Suazo, of the Canal 36 Cholusat Sur television station received death threats after reporting on a potential sexual scandal involving Catholic Church figures Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez and local bishop Juan Jóse Pineda.

Suazo told C-Libre that he received several text messages that read "stop talking about Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez and Juan Jóse Pineda. If you don't you'll be closing your eyes soon." In light of the 14 murders of journalists and media workers since the June 2009 coup d'etat, Suazo said that he and López fear for their lives. They have submitted a formal report about the threats to both national and international human rights organisations.

On 13 July, López read a letter of resignation on his programme "Así de Informa", written by the priest José Jesús Mora, who had been the director of the Catholic Foundation for Social Communication. The priest wrote that he was resigning permanently from the priesthood because he was "disappointed", reported "El Libertador".

In his letter Mora said he had told Cardinal Rodríguez about potential wrongdoings between the Bishop Pineda and a Mexican citizen who was living in the same residence as the cardinal. The letter also said that the bishop claimed the Mexican was his personal assistant, but that this was not the case.

C-Libre attempted unsuccessfully to contact Father Carlo Magno, the Catholic Church spokesman for the Archbishop's Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral, to get his reaction to the complaint filed by the journalists.


(Please note this is an abridged translation.)


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