Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Channel 11, Channel 36, Radio Globo, CableColor, and El Tiempo attacked
Yesterday they made a move to take almost all of the resistance off the air. The public prosecutor, CONATEL, and hooded police invaded the facilities of Cable Color and Channel 11 in San Pedro Sula on Friday. The focus of their "investigation" was the internet service and satellite uplink service Cable Color provides to its subscribers, which includes the internet broadcasts of Channel 36 and Radio Globo, among others. They also challenged Cable Color's offering of VOIP service for international calling.
At the same time that the studios were being raided, the transmitter site of Channel 11 was also being raided, with the intent of stopping the satellite uplink. They were ordered to shut down their VOIP, internet, and satellite service.
The police wanted to confiscate their equipment. However, they left with only a few customer contracts to review. It seems the Frente de Resistencia was nearby, marching in the Torocagua zone, and surrounded the transmitter site, pelting the CONTATEL employees who were trying to disrupt the satellite uplink with bags of water. They also surrounded the studios of Channel 11 and Cable Color.
Channel 11 owns Cable Color, and Channel 11, in turn, is part of the Continental Group, owned by the Rosenthal family.
Channel 36 reported in their on-air news that the temporary suspensions of their broadcast signal in various parts of the country was because of interference with the satellite uplink that links them to their dispersed transmitters. Channel 36 blames pirates hired by the Micheletti government for the outages.
El Tiempo, yesterday, reported that electrical surges thursday night eventually fried the motor control panels on their printing press in San Pedro Sula, rendering them unable to publish for the first time since the 1980s. They indicated that initially ENEE, the electrical company, responded when a surge blew out fuses on their power feed to the building at 8:35 pm thursday night just as the press was preparing to start the run for Friday's paper. ENEE employees arrived about 20 minutes after being called and replaced the fuses on the power pole outside the printing plant. At 9 pm. just after the presses started printing the Friday edition, a bar fuse on another pole caught fire and began smoking. ENEE was again called, and this time refused to replace the smoking device claiming it was Tiempo's and they weren't authorized to replace it, and "maybe it would hold out; Tomorrow someone will have to change it." At midnight a call to ENEE was met with instructions to call the head of the company and get him to order a repair, or wait for it to be repaired on Friday. Finally a third call yielded a repair team who fixed the problem and restored power. At that point Tiempo found out that the partial outage due to the bar fuse problem had damaged the panels that controlled the motors on the printing press, ruining any chance of printing Friday's paper. You might think that this is just the typical bad electricity ENEE provides in Honduras, and that might be so, but this kind of electrical surge was a tactic used in the 1970s and 1980s to take out Tiempo's printing press during the military dictatorships. Tiempo considers it suspicious.
Two Honduran human rights organizations, Ciprodeh and CODEH, took statements and opened investigations into what happened at Cable Color and Channel 11.