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  • Official picture from the Parliamentary Prizes 2019 awards ceremony held in an offsite location for fear of protests.

    Official picture from the Parliamentary Prizes 2019 awards ceremony held in an offsite location for fear of protests. | Photo: Twitter @Congreso_HND

Published 23 May 2019

The event to honor journalists to be held on the legislative chamber floor was moved for what the leader of Congress defined as threats.

The National Congress of Honduras announced an abrupt change of venue Thursday morning for an annual event meant to honor journalists. The president of the National Congress cited threats of boycott and vandalism from the Libre political party as the reason.

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The Premios Parlamentarios (Parliamentary Prizes) 2019 event was scheduled to take place Thursday morning within the legislative chambers of Honduras’ National Congress. However, it was held instead at a restaurant somewhere in the capital of Tegucigalpa.

At the new restaurant venue, 12 journalists were awarded prizes in different categories.

Authorities from the National Congress said that there were threats of a boycott of the awards made by the Libertad y Refundacion (Liberty and Refounding, or Libre) party and in one tweet said there was a threat of vandalism within the chamber.

A member of the Libre party, lawmaker Edgardo Castro, confirmed that party members were planning to disrupt the ceremony to call attention to a new election law in the works.

President of the National Congress Mauricio Oliva commented on local television news that he wanted to make sure the event took place in “peace.”

Members from the Libre party — which was founded in 2011 by the National Popular Resistance Front, a leftist coalition opposed to the coup of 2009 — have used theatrics in the legislative chamber to make its point. On Wednesday, one party member burned the Honduran constitution on the chamber floor.

They have also declared an end to the “condescension” of the ruling parties and to "bipartisanship." In a statement released May 15, the party announced their "insurrection" which will include protests at every Congressional session.

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