Honduran TV journalist accuses presidential candidate of supporting a “hate campaign” against him

A Honduran TV journalist has said he fears for his life and accused congressman and presidential candidate Juan Orlando Hernández of supporting a “hate campaign” against him, according to the Committee for Free Expression (or C-Libre in Spanish).

Recently Hernández said journalist Renato de Jesús Álvarez was a supporter of rival presidential candidate Mauricio Villeda and accused him of being part of the political far-right of the country, according to C-Libre.  Hernández, also president of the National Congress, is the driving force behind a reform to eliminate a series of subsidies given to media companies in Honduras, and has attacked journalists who have come out against the measure.

Álvarez said he fears attacks against his person from Hernández’s supporters after the congressman’s comments.  The comments also put Álvarez at risk because “if someone with power says such a thing, (that) generates resentment among some of his supporters, who already see his opponents as enemies, and here such a little thing can do damage,” said Álvarez.

Álvarez, who heads up the news program TN5 and the debate show Frente a Frente, said he has received warnings about a possible attack, according to the newspaper Proceso, and because of this the chief of the national police, Juan Carlos Bonilla, has offered him protection, according to El Heraldo.

In January, Álvarez also denounced the creation of fake Twitter and Facebook accounts under his name and said they were used to harass his friends and damage his public image, according to Proceso.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.