Community radio broadcasters stand up for rights in Oaxaca

Community radio stations in Oaxaca state, Mexico, have come under attack from federal government and right-wing organizations several times in the recent past. Most recently, La Rabiosa community radio was shut down by police on August 29. Communications rights organization Article 19 commented:

Community radio stations constitute one of the most important instruments for guaranteeing plurality in information sources. However, in Mexico they have no ad hoc legal status that would recognise the services they provide at the local level with their analyses of social, cultural and environmental issues. According to the International Telecommunications Union, a special branch of the United Nations, radio broadcasting is seen to be of such importance in democratic societies that free access to radio services is considered to be a fundamental right that should be protected by governments.

[statement from Asamblea de Radios Libres y Comunitarias, meeting at Villa de Zaachila, Oaxaca, México, Sept 5 2008]

We meet in these Zapotec lands, coming from many different places and populations, men, women, mostly youth but also older people, representing our community radio stations and sharing our voices freely in an assembly, whose basis is to reflect upon and analyze our task of community-based communication in the face of a Mexican state that denies free access to the radio spectrum and in doing so impedes our right to information, communication and freedom of expression - the collective, fundamental rights of our peoples. The existing laws regarding communication do not correspond to the realities of our communities.

Currently, the Mexican government, using the claim of protecting society and guaranteeing national security, has intensified its violence against our communities using its police and military apparatus, dismantling our stations, censuring and blocking our signals, criminalizing and failing to recognize the educational, recreational, linguistic and cultural work that we do as communicators every day.

Also present are diverse collectives; regional organizations; community radio members from other states such as Mexico and Chiapas, and from other countries such as Switzerland and France; magazine and the print media; video collectives; Communications students from various colleges and universities; human rights committees; members of Section 22 of the teachers’ union; as well as the voluntary and independent attendance of residents of Zaachila and other nearby communities and municipalities, conscious of our rights as citizens and collectives.

WE AFFIRM THAT:

In these days together, united, we were able to advance our thoughts and analyses regarding the reality of our stations, our aspirations, concerns and alternatives.

We understand that it is necessary to continue down this path together in order to overcome our adversities. We are the torchbearers and inheritors of the millennia-old cultures of our ancestors. Today we affirm our promise to continue building our own history, with our own knowledge, using community radio in the service of our people and our communities.

We will continue making use of our legitimate rights to the freedom of expression and information.

We will continue utilizing the radio spectrum, not for monetary ends, but for social ones.

We are not against new technologies; we merely believe that they should be used to serve the community and to strengthen our organizational processes to allow us to transform our reality of exclusion and marginalization.

As community stations, we are free and participatory. We bring to the microphones and broadcasters’ booths the simple and everyday lives of the families that live in our communities. We talk about the issues that concern us and facilitate the generation of proposals and solutions to these matters in a way that favors social justice.

WE DEMAND THE MEXICAN STATE:

Reform the Federal Radio and Television Law and the Federal Telecommunications Law so that they meet the communicatory needs of Mexican society, its people and communities, with their own realities and local contexts.

Recognize plainly and clearly the right of indigenous peoples and communities to information and communication, to acquire and administer their own media, as defined by Article 2 of the Mexican Constitution.

We demand the immediate cessation of the harassment, censuring, persecuting and dismantlement of free and community communication projects, as well as end to the repression, disappearing, and murdering of journalists and communicators.

WE PROPOSE TO MEXICAN SOCIETY AT LARGE:

That, like us, you all demand that the Mexican state respect the free exercise of your right of expression.

We invite you to create your own local, regional and national media, where your voices, feelings and thoughts can be truly reflected.

WE RESOLVE:

To create a Permanent Assembly of Free and Community Radio Stations of Oaxaca.

We name a Provisional Commission that will follow up on and ensure the fulfillment of the agreements made in this assembly.

We support the realization of and will participate in the Second National Congress of Indigenous Communication.

Together, respecting our differences, we will continue strengthening the defense, resistance and construction of our communication projects.

We are not going to stop. Our words will keep flowing; our voices will stay on the air.

We will be alert to any attack and together will be preparing the means to protect and defend ourselves.

An injury to one is an injury to all.

LONG LIVE THE ASSEMBLY OF FREE AND COMMUNITY RADIO STATIONS OF OAXACA!

Put forth on the ancestral territory of the people of Zaachila, August 31, 2008.

LIST OF RADIO STATIONS, ORGANIZATIONS, COLLECTIVES AND ATTENDEES OF THE FIRST ASSEMBLY OF COMMUNITY AND FREE RADIO STATIONS

OAXACAN STATIONS

1. LA PERLA DE LA MIXTECA
2. RADIO SATELITE
3. RADIO DIXHASA
4. RADIO CALENDA
5. RADIO GUETZA
6. RADIO PLANTON
7. ESTEREO COMUNAL
8. HUARACHE RADIO
9. RADIO AYUUK
10. NUU KAA RADIO
11. RADIO JEN POJ
12. RADIO COMUNITARIA LA COLECTIVA
13. RADIO TUPA DE COSOLTEPEC
14. RADIO DE TOTONTEPEC
15. RADIO ARCOIRIS
16. RADIO COMUNITARIA DE SANTIAGO NOYOO
17. RADIO YAXHIL
18. RADIO NNANDIA
19. RADIO COMUNITARIO DE TAMAZOLI
20. ZAACHILA RADIO
21. RADIO LA PEQUE
22. DIZHAKIERU RADIO 106.5 FM

NATIONAL STATIONS

1. RADIO CHAPINGO
2. RADIO FARO
3. RADIO UNAM

INTERNATIONAL STATIONS

1. RADIO LORA, FROM SWITZERLAND
2. RADIO ZINZINE 92.1, FROM FRANCE

UNIVERSITIES

1. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - LOS ANGELES
2. UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3. UNIVERSIDAD DE CHAPINGO
4. UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL AUTONOMA DE MEXICO (UNAM)
5. UNIVERSIDAD DEL MAR (UMAR)
6. UNIVERSIDAD PEDAGOGICA NACIONAL. (UPN)
7. ESCUELA DE AGUA Y ENERGIA DE CHIAPAS
8. INSTITUTO DE ESTUDIOS SUPERIORES

ORGANIZATIONS AND COLLECTIVES

1. ASAMBLEA MUNDIAL DE RADIOS COMUNITARIAS (AMARC)
2. AGENCIA INTERNACIONAL DE PRENSA INDIGENA (AIPIN)
3. REVISTA INDEPENDIENTE 3D2
4. REVISTA CONTRALINEA (UNAM)
5. COMISION DE LA APPO
6. RED DE RADIOS COMUNITARIAS CARACOL
7. RED DE PERIODISTAS CON VISION DE GENERO
8. RED DE RADIOS Y TELEVISIONES COMUNITARIAS CACTUS
9. COMITE 25 DE NOVIEMBRE
10. LIGA MEXICANA POR LA DEFENSA DE LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS, OAX. (LIMEDDH).
11. MOVIMIENTO POPULAR REVOLUCIONARIO
12. COLECTIVO AUTONOMO ORBITA
13. COLECTIVO VEINTE DE JUNIO
14. COLECTIVO LIBERTARIO MAGONISTA
15. MILITANTE OPOSICION DE IZQUIERDA
16. PROYECTO LENIN (MICHOACAN)
17. (CIPO - RFM)
18. MAGISTERIO SECCION 22
19. ASAMBLEA DE COLONIAS (HUAJUAPAN)
20. REVOLUCIONEMOS OAXACA MEDIO DE INFORMACION ALTERNATIVO
21. OJO DE AGUA
22. VOCES OAXAQUENAS CONSTRUYENDO AUTONOMIA Y LIBERTAD (VOCAL)
23. ESPACIO DE COMUNICACION DEL ISTMO
24. LA VOZ DEL CENZONTLE
25. FRENTE DE LA CORDILLERA NORTE MIXTECA
26. USIZONI
27. LA OTRA HISTORIA
28. PROMOTORES DE RADIO COMUNITARIA
29. BIBAANI
30. CIESAS
31. ASAMBLEA DE COLONIAS DE LA CIUDAD DE OAXACA
32. BRIGADA INDIGENA- 94

UNAFFILIATED

1. DIVERSOS PROYECTOS DE RADIO EN CONSTRUCCION
2. EGRESADOS DEL TECNOLOGICO
3. RESIDENTS OF MIXE VILLAGES
4. RESIDENTS OF ZAACHILA
5. RESIDENTS OF TEOTITLAN DEL VALLE
6. PARTICIPANTS IN THE OAXACAN SOCIAL MOVEMENT
7. RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF OAXACA
8. RESIDENTS OF NORUEGA
9. RESIDENTS OF SAN LUCAS QUIABINI
10. SANTA CATARINA COATLAN
11. SAN JUAN BAUTISTA ETEPEC
12. RESIDENTS OF PUEBLA
13. RESIDENTS OF XOXOCOTLAN

AUTHOR: Asamblea de Radios Libres y Comunitarias. Villa de Zaachila, Oaxaca, México

Translated by Scott campbell, revised by Machetera

article originally published at http://www.radio-utopie.de/2008/09/05/declaration-of-the-assembly-of-free-and-co....

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