El Salvador: Community Radio Journalists Receive Death Threats

  Source: Indybay.org

Journalists of community radio station Radio Victoria have recently received death threats for their work and education in promoting human rights and the environment. The threats are not new to the journalists and the media community but have increased considerably since local elections were held in January this year.

Sensuntepeque, July 27, 2009.

In April this year the work of Information Radio Victoria has been thwarted by the disappearance of the group’s radio transmitter. As of July 23 2009, four community reporters began receiving letters and telephone messages in which they were threatened to be the "next on the list" and that "we also spoke in San Isidro "making a clear reference to the link between these events and the disappearance and murder of colleague Marcelo Gustavo Rivera.

As part of his journalistic work, Radio Victoria informs the public of the Department of Cabañas in El Salvador and, generally, the broad resistance movement against mining operations which would serve to profit Canadian company Pacific Rim. The radio team also covered the issue of voter fraud in the San Isidro elections in January this year and the recent disappearance and death of environmentalist and social activist Gustavo Marcelo Rivera.

The threats mentioned explicitly the authors’ frustrations around the constant media coverage of public complaints of abuses and arbitrary actions committed in San Isidro and Cabanas. These new developments threaten the lives of young journalists, one of whom is a minor, and represent a violation of human rights of the reporters and all who work in defense of human rights. It is also evidence of the impunity the local government is willing to offer to those who threaten and terrorize the population within Cabanas. The negligence of the attorney general’s office and the PNC (National Civilian Police), institutions responsible for the welfare and security of the population, contributes to the perpetration of these violations.

Communities and individuals, together with various social organizations, are requiring a thorough investigation of these serious incidents by competent authorities of the new government and are also demanding investigation into the intellectual and material motivation behind the murder of Gustavo Marcelo Rivera.

These groups also demand that the international community remain committed to ending the political persecution suffered by the Salvadoran people by denouncing these acts of violence and putting pressure on Salvadoran authorities to establish the rule of law and respect for human rights in El Salvador.

Association for Social and Economic Development – Santa MartaTel ADES. (+503) 2382-1082/5 adessm [at] gmail.com, Web: http://adessantamarta.codigosur.net
Radio Victoria Tel (+503) 2389 3002 http://www.radiovictoria.org