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  Radio Frontera, 4450v kHz  DX news

Radio Frontera
Broadcasting on the Frontiers of Bolivia
by Dene Lynneberg
(as published in Frendx 4/89)

Some years ago, in 1973, I had the pleasure of listening to a little known station called Radio Cobija which broadcast in Spanish on the tropical band frequency of 4854 kHz. Radio Cobija was heard at a fair level from 0342-0401* UTC.

A Spanish report was duly sent off to Radio Cobija without holding out too much hope of a reply. And of course, as is often the way of the Latin "mañana", no reply was forthcoming. Future editions of the WRTH kept listing Radio Cobija as inactive. A copy of the report was filed away and promptly forgotten about until many years later in 1984 I read in an overseas DX magazine an item mentioning that Radio Cobija may have been reactivated. Hmrn! I thought, time for a followup to be sent to them. So the original report was resurrected and retyped. A few goodies such as a postcard and some mint and used New Zealand stamps were included and the report was once again sent off to Radio Cobija at Correo Central Cobija, Bolivia.

The Bolivian postal system is to say the least, probably as erratic and inefficient as those of most Latin countries and indeed the WRTH always persists in carrying an explanatory footnote saying Where is normally no delivery of letters in Bolivia (except La Paz) and recipients have to collect from the Post Office. Letters should therefore carry the casilla number where known.
So what hope could I hold out for a reply from a station located away in the frontier regions of Bolivia. whose only address was Correo Central, Cabija! If only they knew my report was coming, and where would the letter end up if the casilla number was unknown!
Time again passed and hopes faded until one day, 489 days Inter, to my amazement I received in the mail a letter from a "Radio Frontera" in Cobija. What was I doing receiving a letter from Radio Frontera, a station I never even knew existed? I quickly opened the envelope to find a long Spanish letter from the owner of Radio Frontera, a Sr. Lino Miahuchi Yon Ancken.

This very interesting letter from Sr. Von Ancken unveiled a fascinating story. Sr. Yon Ancken writes:
"It has been a while since I found your letter in my mailbox and you may well wonder how I came by it. In the course of this letter I'll give you an explanation of how I received your letter. I have wanted to answer your letter for a while now but until now I haven't had the time.
I would like to introduce myself. I am a 37 year old journalist and I own a new radio station here in Cobija called Radio Frontera. My name is Lino Miahuchi Yon Ancken. My surname is descendent of a mixture of Japanese and German.
Reading your letter I can assure you that the signals you received from Radio Cobija were correct. At that time l was only an assistant journalist. I can tell you that Radio Cobija has been off the air for 4 years now. It was a state run radio station but it was operated irresponsibly and without any kind of planning and it went bankrupt. This is all a memory now as it all happened in the past
Two years ago I bought a new station which uses 300 watts and since then I have bought a 500 watt shortwave transmitter, but I am having some trouble with this. The signals don't want to go up the antenna. I am trying to get it fixed and make it all work again, but the problem here is that there are only a few technicians in Cobija and they are not very good ones. I will let you know of any progress I have made in getting things fixed."

Sr. Von Ancken then went on to relate some interesting information about Cobija and its surroundings. He continues:
"Cobija is the capital of the Department of Pando. This department covers 63,000 square Km and is rich in natural resources, but unfortunately these are exploited indiscriminately by unscrupulous people who are often found in the centre of the great Amazon. Cobija is a small city of some 10,000 inhabitants and is located on the frontier with Brazil. The frontier boundary is the 60 metre wide Acre River. There is an international bridge across the river where Bolivians and Brazilians may cross freely whenever they wish. Another frontier is with Peru, 95 kilometers away. We don't have much communication with Peru because of a lack of roads. There is only a penetration route. The forest is very dense and impenetrable and it is very dangerous to go through it. Also there is an infinite number of rivers, both large and small, and many lagoons.
The favorite sports here are football, basketball and naturally swimming in the rivers. The ambient temperature here for 95% of the year is between 32-34 degrees C. The only means of contact that we have with the other departments of our country is by air. An airline operating small Fokker 27 airplanes, capable of carrying 40 passengers, makes the return trip twice weekly to the City of La Paz the highest capital in the world at 40(00 m above sea level."

Sr. Von Ancken then goes on to explain that he is an amateur radio operator with the callsign Ancken has got things working again and all the RF is finally "getting up his antenna". If you are lucky enough to hear this very interesting station, be sure to send Sr. Von Ancken a comprehensive report in Spanish. He is a very friendly person and will certain appreciate your efforts in reporting to him and you ought to receive.

Reports should be sent to:
El Director
Sr. Lino Miahuchi Von Ancken
Radio Frontera
Casilla 179
Cobija (Depto. Pando),

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