Chiapas community radio promotes communication rights, Indigenous self-determination
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Chiapas community radio promotes communication rights, Indigenous self-determination

A WACC-supported project involving an Indigenous community radio in Chiapas, Mexico, has resulted in the production of 12 programmes on topics such as women’s rights, Indigenous rights and heritage, communication rights, land rights, self-determination and the environment.

The project – organized by the Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Cine y Comunicacion de los Pueblos Indigenas (Clacpi) – sought to improve the media production capacity of Radio Lak Luma “as a way to build community development processes, and promote Indigenous rights,” said Lorenzo Vargas, WACC program manager for Communication for Social Change.

Clacpi is an NGO that promotes community-based media in order to preserve and enhance Indigenous cultures.

Radio Lak Lumal was established in 2014, after a community development process launched in 1998, when a group of Tseltales and Choles Indigenous youth in Chiapas saw the potential of community radio in order to promote human rights and Indigenous rights.
The station has an estimated audience of 80,000, mostly members of the Tseltales and Choles Indigenous communities.

Nine women and four men from seven different Indigenous communication networks and stations took part in the media production and community development workshops, which involved collaborative work with hundreds of local people. The programmes they produced were broadcast 60 times by Radio Lak Lumal.

Photo: Courtesy of Clacpi

“This was an opportunity to advance community development by raising awareness about local community initiatives,” said Vargas.
In its report, Clacpi said the response to the workshops was “overwhelmingly positive as this was the first time that many people felt their knowledge was being valued by media.”

As a result of the project, Radio Lak Lumal “has been strengthened and has become a player with a higher stature at the community level,” Clacpi added.

The project was also partly funded by Bread for the World, Germany, and Cultural Survival, in the U.S.

Photo above: Media production participants interview a Chiapas local as part of their training. Courtesy of Clacpi

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