With just six days to go to controversial general elections, Reporters Without Borders is today posting a video of a raid on Radio Progreso, a radio station based in the northern town of El Progreso that was one of the first victims of last June’s coup d’état.Just hours after the democratically-elected president, Manuel Zelaya, was deposed and deported on 28 June, 25 soldiers raided Radio Progreso to prevent it broadcasting any information about the coup.>
The general elections that the de facto authorities are planning to hold on 29 November have been fiercely criticised both within Honduras and by a segment of the internal community and the opposition media are expected to have problems during the last week of the election campaign.
Esdras Amado López, the head of Canal 36 television, reported on 20 November that his station has been closed by the authorities again. It was already closed for a while in September and has often been censored. Pro-coup media are meanwhile exposed to the possibility of street violence, as an attack on the Tegucigalpa-based station HRN on 4 November already showed.
Founded by Jesuits 60 years ago and nowadays run by Father Ismael Moreno (also known as “Padre Melo”), Radio Progreso employs around 10 - mainly young - reporters while involving its listeners in the preparation of many of its news, educational and musical programmes. It is fiercely independent and often criticised President Zelaya before the coup.
The footage shown in the video was filmed by the staff of Radio Progreso, which Reporters Without Borders and six other international press freedom organisations met during a joint visit to Honduras from 1 to 7 November (see 13 November release).
The other organisations that took part in this international press freedom mission to Honduras were the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), Freevoice, International Media Support (IMS), the World Association of Newspapers WAN), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Article 19.