TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, Jan. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, President Juan Orlando Hernández urged the Libre Alliance to respect Hondurans' rights to the freedom of the press and called for an end to the violence its leaders have instigated.
The Honduran Journalists Association, or CPH, has "received serious complaints from directors, editors and media reporters, who are the target of a campaign of threats and hatred through certain portals of dubious authorships and in social networks," according to CPH President Dagoberto Rodríguez. CPH says that it is working to identify the perpetrators of these threats and take legal action against them.
"Manuel Zelaya, the Alliance's coordinator, did nothing when a broadcast journalist almost got lynched at a press conference called by [the Alliance] themselves," Rodríguez said.
"There is no place for violence against journalists in Honduras, whether online or in the streets," President Hernández said. "This cannot continue."
Members of the business and religious communities have also joined President Hernández in calling for peace. Yesterday, Angel Garachana, the President of the Episcopal Conference of Honduras and Bishop of San Pedro Sula, called on defeated Libre Alliance presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla to accept President Hernández's invitation to dialogue.
"To refuse the dialogue between them, would be a lack of seriousness, a lack of a genuine desire to find a way out and think about the good of Honduras," Garachana said. "Violence does not benefit anyone and blockades do not favor the development of the nation."
The impact of the recent spate of violence "is quite large," Secretary of Economic Development Arnaldo Castillo said. Since November, the protests in Honduras have cost the tourism industry $100 million.
Looting and vandalism during the protests forced many businesses to close. The loss of sales could amount to 10 billion lempiras, or about $422 million, according to Rafael Medina, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tegucigalpa.
"We request that the Honduran population and property, both public and private, be protected as they are part of the rights of all citizens," said Medina.
SOURCE Republic of Honduras