2017: Honduras: Jairo López

Jairo López, a Honduran journalist, is being target of a smear campaign. López is known for his investigative journalism. The Writers in Prison Committee believes the smear campaign is in response to an unfavorable report showing the President of the National Congress being attacked by protestors at a political gathering in Apacilagua.

 

Señor Julián Pacheco
Secretaria de Estado en el Despacho de  Seguridad
Aldea el Ocotal
Antiguo Local de la Academia Nacional de Policia ANAPO
Tegucigalpa
Honduras

1st of March 2017

Your Excellency,

 

The Norwegian WiPC – Writers in Prison Committee – is seriously concerned for the safety of PEN Honduras member and journalist Jairo López who is facing threats following a smear campaign.

López, who hosts TV News program El Informador for the local television channel Canal 21 in Choluteca, southern Honduras, is known for his investigative journalism. According to López,  a smear campaign against him began on February 7th 2017 when a piece was posted on social media claiming that the Public Prosecutor had issued a warrant for his arrest for being the leader of a local criminal gang and an emissary of a well-known drug trafficker. The Norwegian Writers in Prison Committee calls on the Honduran authorities to ensure the safety of Jairo López and to investigate the threats against him as a matter of urgency.

Claims such as those made against López not only damage his reputation as a journalist, but they also pose a serious threat to both him and his family. Since the video was posted, Lopez reports receiving threats and men on motorcycles have been seen circling his house.

We believe the smear campaign is in response to an unfavorable report on El Informador showing the President of the National Congress being attacked by protestors at a political gathering in Apacilagua, southern Honduras.  López is believed to be targeted as he is the director of the TV news program responsible for broadcasting the video.

We would welcome your comments on this matter.

Yours sincerely,
Øivind Hånes

WiPC Norway

COPY: Ministry of Security in Honduras; National Human Rights Ombudsman in Hondura; Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs