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  Radio Pio XII, Llallagua, 5954 kHz  DX news

Pio XII (pio12.jpg - 0,4 K)
Radio Pio XII, Llallagua, Bolivia.
(Photo by Hermod Pedersen, 1988)

January 1997
New threats against Radio Pio XII
From DEVMEDIA list, January 1997, and translated from Spanish by Don Moore

"We return to the situation that Radio Pio XII and its Director Padre Roberto Durette are in.
"After the events of the end of the year in the mines of Amayapampa and Capasirca that concluded in a massacre in which ten persons lost their lifes, the threats against Pio XII and Padre Roberto have continued.
"'We have received direct and indirect threats and accusations of being responsible for the conflict' said Durette, adding that as director he is considered responsible for the deeds, because from the beginning (he? the station?) covered everything that occured between the police, the army, the peasants, and the miners in the north of Potosi.

"Durette assured that when he had the opportunity to enter the military base of the zone, he saw on a blackboard messages such as "call to subversion - Radio Pio XII" and "alert to the population - Radio Pio XII" and he saw a drawing which illustrated how they (the army) was going to intervene.
"Roberto pointed out that "now that the threats continue, there are no guarantees that Pio XII's transmissions will (be permitted?) to continue. I remember the situation in which Llallagua, Amayapampa and Capasirca lived where hundreds of police and soldiers violenty retook those mining centers, wounding and killing.

"In the second day of the conflict (Dec 20), we wanted to cover the news, so that the entire country would know what was happening. The radio station's vehicle was intercepted by the police and was used to transport soldiers. The vehicle was later returned. According to the Oblate priest (Durette), the Pio XII and other reporters had their taperecorders and other materials confiscated. The recorded cassettes were confiscated by the police and the reporters were threatened.

"For this, we ask you to send notes of solidarity with the station and its director, asking guarantees that it continue its work, to:
Lic. Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada
Presidente Constitucional de la Republica de Bolivia
Palacio de Gobierno

Fax: 591 2 391262


Lic. Mauricio Balcazar
Ministro de Comunicacion
Ministerio de Comunicacion
591 2 371314

Please send a copy of all notes to Pio XII as well."

Tue, 18 Oct 1994
Censured after fight
against toxic waste

The Bolivian highlands station "Radio Pio XII" has come under attack for speaking out against toxic mineral waste dumping in the mining villages of Patacamaya and Siglo XX, reports the October issue of "La Lettre", the monthly journal of Reporters sans frontieres (RSF). The conflict over toxic waste came to a head when residents of Patacamaya and nearby Siglo XX blocked traffic on the Panamericana highway in August in protest of the open dump sites near their homes. "Radio Pio XII" and other members of the Bolivian media spoke out against the latest accord to treat foreign mineral waste. With the drop in mineral prices on the export market, Bolivia has turned to mineral waste treatment. The government is pinning hopes on its recent contract with Germany to keep the mining industry alive and to prevent mine workers from turning to coca farming.

The August protest, which was countered by the government, left one demonstrator dead. Since then, "Radio Pio XII" has faced abuse and harassment by officials in a barrage of letters, phone calls and denunciations in the media. The Ministry of Mines accused the station of "hating mining, foreign investment and modern technology," and of disseminating false and incomplete information which it perceived as being anti-government and purposely in the interest of the mining workers movement, unhappy with a 1993 agreement to restructure the public mining sector. Authorities also accused "Radio Pio XII" of fomenting "subversive activity." "Radio Pio XII" has enlisted the assistance of the International Radio Broadcasting Association of Bolivia (AIR) to appeal on its behalf to the President of Bolivia.

On a positive note, RSF also reports that the five Bolivian journalists who were brutalized by police while covering the workers' demonstration have succeeded in pressing charges.

The above is from the IFEX Communique of October 17, 1994.
The IFEX Communique is published weekly by the IFEX Clearing House, Toronto. The facility is operated by the Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists in partnership with the member organizations of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX).
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