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Honduran journalist threatened after broadcasting complaints against water company

(C-Libre/IFEX) - 24 August 2012 - Journalist Alex Roberto Sabillón Chávez made his way to the capital, Tegucigalpa, to report to C-Libre that he fears for this life after having been subjected to a series of threats issued by unknown individuals who, he says, have been sent by the manager of the Aguas de Choloma company, Alexis García.

Sabillón works for Canal 10 Multicanal and is based in Choloma, Cortés department. While on his way back to his community, after informing C-Libre of his case, the journalist said he was told via a mobile phone call from the TV station's human resources manager that officials from the General Bureau for Criminal Investigations (Dirección General de Investigación Criminal, DGIC) had left a summons for him to appear before the bureau on 27 August to respond to an accusation of sedition. The accusation had apparently been filed by Aguas de Choloma.

According to Sabillón, the company's actions are a result of the many complaints he has broadcast about the water supply company. He said that local residents are against the installation of water meters imposed by the company and had begun to remove and destroy the meters. When the citizens saw that he was covering their actions, they began to send him information documenting corruption within Aguas de Choloma.

As a result of his publicising these complaints, the journalist said that for the last six months he has been constantly harassed and told that he will be killed or taken to court. He said he has repeatedly filed complaints with the authorities, but investigations into the matter are never carried out. The judicial authorities are acting in collusion with powerful interests, Sabillón explained. He also noted that, in 2011, a municipal police officer put a gun to his head and that his camera operator filmed the incident. He said he then included the recording when filing a complaint with the public prosecutor's office, but that, to date, there has been no communication with him regarding the incident and the officer in question remains on active duty.

(Please note this is an abridged translation.)

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