Radio journalist Julio Ernesto Alvarado in Honduras resigns in fear of his life.

March 11, 2013

Front Line report s that on 4 March 2013, human rights defender and prominent radio and television journalist Mr Julio Ernesto Alvarado announced his resignation from presenting the week night news commentary programme Medianoche on national radio station Radio Globo, due to serious fears for his life. Julio Ernesto Alvarado, who is also Director of Mi Nación, an hourly news programme transmitted nightly by television station Globo TV, has been subjected to continuous threats and surveillance since he began presenting the radio programme in 2011, the most recent incidents of which occurred on 1 and 2 March 2013. Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - cropped

On 1 March 2013, a vehicle prevented him from entering the tunnel which gives access to the car park of the premises of Radio Globo and Globo TV. The journalist was subsequently forced to park elsewhere. Upon entering the building, Julio Ernesto Alvarado was informed by security guards that an unknown man had entered the premises of Radio Globo. When the journalist went to investigate, he was unable to locate the individual. It is believed that the man had entered the building in order to inspect Julio Ernesto Alvarado’s work environment and system of security.

At around 11.45pm that same night, the journalist was informed that a vehicle with five men had circulated threateningly around the car park  of the radio building. At approximately 11pm on 2 March 2013, as Julio Ernesto Alvarado was leaving his work, a vehicle was witnessed parked in front of the Villatoro building. The occupants of the vehicle, who had the windows rolled down, were reportedly making hand signals and pointing to the building, while one of the occupants was heard mentioning Radio Globo and Globo TV.

Since first presenting Medianoche in 2011, Julio Ernesto Alvarado has received threatening messages sent to his mobile phone, while individuals on motorbikes have reportedly followed him home on several occasions, upon leaving the offices of Radio Globo late at night. It is further reported that the journalist’s car was tampered with and video recorded material stolen.

Throughout the course of his work, Julio Ernesto Alvarado has commented on various sensitive topics, including a complaint filed by the Director General of Police, Commissioner Juan Carlos Bonilla against members of the newly created political party Libertad y Refundación – LIBRE (Freedom and Refoundation) regarding the alleged orchestration of a smear campaign against him. The journalist has also commented on the killing of the son of Commissioner Ricardo Ramírez del Cid and the killing of a number of young people on Seventh Avenue in Comayagüela, reportedly carried out by eight heavily armed individuals. During his programmes, Julio Ernesto Alvarado has also referred to a video in which the Commissioner Juan Carlos Bonilla appears next to a senior official of the Armed Forces, allegedly planning an action against former President Manuel Zelaya, who was subsequently ousted by a military coup.

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