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Honduran radio journalist constantly threatened for his reporting

Radio journalist Leonel García has reported receiving death threats stemming from the fact that he provides a space for citizens' complaints to be aired on his programmes. He is based in the municipality of Nacaome, Valle department.

García presents reports on the radio programmes "Noticias al pueblo" and "Dígalo como quiera", broadcast by Radio Discovery. On the shows he engages in critical analysis and provides an opportunity for citizens to voice their concerns.

The journalist said he had received threats via his mobile phone and messages intended at intimidating him. "Politicians, public officials and business owners are intolerant when it comes to questions about their roles and they are reacting violently and aggressively," said García.

He said that on many occasions he has received verbal threats, but that one he received over the phone stood out. "We're going to shoot you, just as you are coming out of the radio station." According to García, this threat was related to his comments on the suitability of political parties with little political support rising to power, particularly the Christian Democracy (Democracia Cristiana) and their mayoral candidate.

On another occasion, after addressing the problem of power outages in the city of Nacaome, two men with firearms in hand were waiting for him outside the radio station. They told him to stop criticising the National Electric Energy manager, Elmer Pérez. García said he recognised one of the men, known as "el mejicano", who is a driver for the current National Congress Deputy for the ruling party, Tomy Zambrano.

García added that recently he had not been allowed to do a report on the privatisation of the San Lorenzo hospital, when he was removed from the hospital grounds by security guards.

"Daily I receive threats from those who do not like it when I uncover their wrongdoings, but I trust that only God has the authority to order someone's death," he said.

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