(C-Libre/IFEX) - On 24 December 2011, police officer Elmer Ardón issued a death threat against camera operator Uriel Gudiel Rodríguez, who works for the "Contacto Directo" news programme broadcast by Canal 45. Ardón is an officer within the Criminal Investigations Department's homicide division.
Rodríguez told C-Libre that he was walking on a street in his home town of Jutiapa, in the municipality of Danlí, El Paraíso department, when he was approached by Ardón, who told him to be careful or he would "be found in the cane fields." According to Rodríguez, Ardón then grabbed his firearm, but his girlfriend, who was with him at the time of the incident, managed to calm him down. Rodríquez also received an indirect warning from the police officer's father, Arturo Ardón, who told one of the camera operator's friends to relay a message that he "didn't want to see him anywhere in town."
Rodríguez said the threats are related to footage that several media outlets have aired of the main suspect in the 7 September murder of a prominent member of the Honduran resistance movement, Mahadeo Roopchand Sadloo Sadloo. During the wake that was held after Sadloo's assassination, members of the resistance movement captured police officer Reidi Arturo Ardón, who was working undercover and is related to Elmer Ardón. Reidi Arturo Ardón was stripped naked and set free. Media personnel then filmed him as he ran in search of assistance, and the footage was subsequently broadcast.
"They think that I was one of the camera operators who filmed the incident, that's why they want to harm me," said Rodríguez. "But I wasn't even working at that time as I had been dismissed from Globo TV." He added, however, that if he had filmed the incident it would have been because he was simply doing his work.
In two previous incidents, on 6 May and 22 March, Rodríquez was assaulted and shot with rubber bullets by police officers.
(Please note this is an abridged translation.)