Radio without Borders

April 21, 2007

Dear Readers,

In Mexico, during the 2006 mobilizations that gave birth to the Peoples' Popular
Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO in its Spanish initials) the people's occupation of
several mass media transmission facitilies was crucial in their fight to end
Governor Ulises Ruiz's savage rule. Their actions were an exercise in citizen's
sovereignty that allowed everyone's voices to be heard.

Among the people that had a chance to be behind a microphone was Dr. Bertha
Muñoz—better known as Dr. Shotgun (Doctora Escopeta in Spanish) for her ability
to express herself better than the average doc.

As the doctor herself (an epidemiologist by trade) explains: "they called me Dr.
Shotgun…a name that I proudly assumed because I realized that, by speaing my own
words, I was firing out ideas—not my ideas but rather those of the all of
Oaxaca's citizens and those not from Oaxaca but who participated in our

"In a way, there grew such a connection between the people and me that I gave up
myself as an individual to become a part of them, allowing me to feel them
inside of me. And I think that my brothers and sisters in Oaxaca feel as if I am
within them as well. For that reason, I became dangerous—since we know that
there is nothing more dangerous than speaking words that resonate within a

For this reason, we did not hesitate to help our APPO brother and sisters by
responding to an invitation that arrived through the Internet's curious ways. A
few days ago, among emails and chats, a young man from Oaxaca named Beto
appeared on our screen. He had a few simple and direct words for us:

"Hi. My name is Beto and Raquel told me that you have an news website. Do you
know who Dr. Shotgun of the APPO is?" Of course we do, we answered, recalling
last November's violent and dramatic events and how we, like others around the
world, lived those days listening to Dr. Muñoz's internet broadcasts via
University Radio's (Radio Universidad).

We decided to put ourselves at the service of the good Doctor. By offering our
web space and our commitment, we have created a border-less alliance: Ukhampacha
Bolivia will soon broadcast Shotgun Radio ( via
internet so that Dr. Muñoz can reestablish a connection with her people. As she
explains from her location in forced hiding:

"Those of us who were in front of the microphones (many of us radio rookies)
understand Radio Universidad's importance and we have taken on the enormous
responsibility of trying to carry on its work. We are committed to continuing to
making our movement understood by the rest of the world and to try through
whatever media channels possible to keep open the lines of communication between
all those of Oaxaca."

We invite you to read Dr. Muñoz's personal introduction that she has written for
Ukhampacha Bolivia:

Please spread the word about Dr. Muñoz because we need your economic support to
give this project life; we need contributions so that the valiant APPO can
recuperate one of its most important voices. At the bottom of Dr. Muñoz's text,
you will find a link for welcomed donations.

We also want to say thanks to those who have sent us messages of kindness and
encouragement in our first days. Some of you have even sent us essays, articles,
audios and photos. We will be publishing them all in the near future.

In addition to Dr. Muñoz's piece, UB has two new articles—one from Venezuela and
another from Argentina—but these two are only in Spanish (and can be seen here:

We are desperately in need of Spanish to English translators because we simply
can't keep up with the inflow of articles. We don't have money to offer at the
time, but you'd be rewarded by knowing that you are helping spread this
important work to thousands more around the world. Please contact editors@... if
you are interested.

Enjoy our minimal weekend offerings and we'll be back with more next week. We'll
be here, continuing to "fire ideas" at your conscience as our beloved Dr. Muñoz
likes to say.

Long Live the APPO!

Jean Friedman-Rudovsky
Luis A. Gómez

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey