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Anonymous threat silences Honduran reporter

“Stop talking about issues that aren't in our favour, or you'll be next to end up among 'las cañeras' (sugar cane fields)”. These words were enough for Rubén Quiroz, a police beat reporter for Canal 6 in the city of San Pedro Sula, to abandon reporting on a gang-related story that was the reason for the threat.

The journalist said that after receiving the threatening call he was upset because he did not want to lose his life just for doing his job. He said he thinks it is not right that he should have to give up his work. “What I have done is set aside the issue, not out of fear, but because you have to be wise and take a step back from things that are not right for the time.”

According to Quiroz, he received the call minutes after reporting on a truce between gangs that had been promoted by Bishop Romulo Emiliani and diplomats from the Organization of American States (OAS).

The journalist said his report had been based on information from relatives of victims of the violence between the gangs, and which lead him to believe that the truce would not be a positive thing. Quiroz thinks his opinion on the matter offended some people, who reacted by making the threatening call.

Quiroz also said that he had received threats on other occasions, but that this threat was more serious because of the reference to “las cañeras”, a place where many people have been found murdered.

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