City of origin: San Pedro Sula (Honduras)
Ciutat of refuge: Barcelona
Duration of period in refuge: 2018-2020
Milthon Robles is a journalist, writer and speaker, frim San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He is a Human Rights activist and has worked with rehabilitation of young people in Honduras associated with criminal gangs. His investigative reports focus on corruption, embezzlement of public funds, exploitation of natural resources, as well as the sexual exploitation of women and children. These investigations have been widely disseminated in the media, social networks and by human rights organisations in Honduras. His work as a journalist and activist, has led him to be subject to multiple threats and intimidation, on the part of both government authorities and organized crime.
The attacks against Milthon Robles increased after his reports on the illegal activity known as “War Taxes.” These are extortions made in small businesses by criminal gangs, and involve members of the national government, police, army and large companies. Robles broadly investigated the subject and, at the end of 2015, began to speak at the local radio programme “Informative Center”, issuing the testimony of victims of the criminal activities. They started tapping his telephone, hacked into his social network accounts, and he began to receive direct threats.
Robles became victim of an attempted robbery and shooting from a vehicle, and in September 2016, he was kidnapped in the street and received a brutal beating for four hours. He was released on the condition that he stopped investigating and reporting. He spent three months with constant death threats and had to change his domicile often. Thanks to the support of Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House and PEN International, Robles could flee from Honduras and took refuge in Spain, before he was accepted as a resident of the Catalan PEN’s Acclaimed Writer Programme in Barcelona through ICORN.