In the early hours of Jan. 6, unknown assailants carried out an arson attack against the Garifuna-language community radio station Faluma Bimetu (also known as Radio Coco Dulce) at Triunfo de la Cruz in Tela municipality on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. The blaze gutted the studio and destroyed equipment. The international watchdog group Reporters Without Borders said the attack “confirms the persistent danger” to independent media under the Honduran de facto authorities, and that investigating the case will be a “test” for the new government that is to take power on Jan. 27.
A statement on the attack form the Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) said that “In recent years, the Municipality of Tela has divided the community by promoting a parallel Patronato (state-recognized organ of local government), aligned with the interests of the tourism investors. Radio Faluma Bimetu has been one of the champions of the defense of ancestral territory.” (EFE, Jan. 7; OFRANEH statement, Jan. 6, online in Spanish on La Haine, Spain, and in English on Solidarity with the People(s) of Honduras)