Honduras journalist Jairo Lopez, a critical voice, was arrested by police investigators Saturday from his home in the city of Choluteca, southern Honduras. Lopez was reporting on alleged abuses and corruption by Empresa Energia Honduras (EEH).
The presenter of the program “El Informador” on local channel 21, recorded violent suppression of protests by the company during a protest against the abuses of EEH.
According to reports by local media, Lopez was picked up by armed men at gunpoint in the wee hours of the morning. His wife was also beaten up during his arrest.
Omar Herrera, the head of UDEP (National Police Honduras), said the detainee’s human rights were respected by the police. He also informed that Lopez had been accused of “the crimes of damage” to the company’s property.
He was later released under bail conditions, according to local media reports on Sunday. Lopez was granted protective measures for receiving threats due to his reports on the corruption of EEH and is reportedly in process of seeking asylum in another country.
"They threw me into the back of the car in a violent way, a guy threatened me with a gun, it's a white car with a double cabin... nobody identified themselves to me, here I am at the DPI (Police Directorate of Investigations), the car they brought me in, is HAJ1374 and they tell me that it is an arrest warrant, " Lopez told journalist and human rights defender, Dina Meza.
The EEH is a formation of Colombian companies Electricas de Medellin and Union Electrica, and the Honduran company Enterprise Consulting SA. It had been awarded a contract in December 2015 to operate the electricity distribution system of the Empresa Nacional de Electric Power for seven years.