23 Aug 2012 Criminalizing community radio is an attack on people’s communication rights
“Indigenous voices tell compelling stories of how they are combating centuries of injustice and discrimination.”
By María Teresa Aveggio, Programme Manager
| A new law (4479) proposed by Guatemala’s Lider party intends to reform the country’s criminal code in order to sanction the imprisonment of individual actors and representatives of radio stations that do not have legal authority to broadcast. This move came on 10July 2012, just one month before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the vital role of media in empowering the world’s indigenous people by challenging stereotypes, forging indigenous peoples’ identities, communicating with the non-Indigenous world and influencing the social and political agendas.
Many of the existing community radio stations in Guatemala serve the needs of Indigenous people, who constitute around 40.5% of the total population. They would be severely penalized by the proposed new law which would change them from legal entities into illegal ones. Read more…