[imc-alberta] FW: ARGENTINA: First-Ever Permit for Indigenous Community Radio
rainbow.bridge at shaw.ca
Wed Jul 6 15:56:37 PDT 2005
Most of you are probably on Janine Bandcroft's list, but I thought I'd send
this along for those who aren't. Go Argentina!!
Thanks also, Lynette, for sending the link to Scotland IMC. It's great to
see those photos - a quarter million people marching to end poverty and
> ARGENTINA: First-Ever Permit for Indigenous Community Radio
> By Marcela Valente
> Send your comments to the editor
> editors at ipsnews.net
> Copyright © 2005 IPS-Inter Press Service. All rights reserved.
> BUENOS AIRES - The first operating licence ever granted by the
> Argentine government to an indigenous community radio station is
> being hailed as a major step forward in giving a voice to this sector
> of the population, while posing formidable challenges.
> The FM radio station, which has been operating without a licence for
> six years and has yet to be given a name, is run by the Mapuche
> Indian community of Linares, made up of around 700 members and
> located in the municipality of Aucapán, in the southern province of
> According to the 2001 census, close to four percent of Argentina's
> population of 37 million are indigenous people, who belong to various
> ethnic groups spread throughout the country, but who share many of
> the same problems: land ownership struggles, unemployment, poverty,
> marginalisation, and the erosion of their ancestral cultural identity.
> "This radio station is very useful in terms of our daily lives, and
> will also help to raise greater awareness of our land claims and the
> problems we face," said Víctor Altimán, the "lonko" (political
> leader) of the Linares community, in a telephone interview from
> There are two programmes on the air so far, and like the station
> itself, they do not yet have names. "We're somewhat disorganised,"
> apologised Eugenio Linares, one of the station's technical operators.
> "For the moment, what we want more than anything is for people to
> listen to us," he added, which is why all of the broadcasting is in
> Spanish, at least for now.
> One of the two shows is a general interest programme that focuses on
> the main problems and concerns facing the Mapuche community,
> including land ownership conflicts, unemployment, alcoholism and
> women's issues.
> The station also plays an important community service role -
> especially crucial in the winter, which brings bitterly cold
> temperatures. Aucapán is situated in the foothills of the Andes
> mountains, and has no electrical power or telephone service, which
> makes the radio an invaluable means of communication for the local
> The equipment for the station was donated by the Italian
> non-governmental organisation Ricerca e Cooperazione, with the
> support of the Italian Foreign Ministry. For its part, the Argentina
> Community Radio Forum (FARCO) provided training courses.
> Although Argentine broadcasting regulations prohibit radio station
> ownership by non-profit organisations, the Federal Broadcasting
> Commission (COMFER), the state agency that issues operating permits,
> modified the rules to make the Mapuche initiative possible.
> COMFER plans to grant another eight licences to indigenous
> communities in the coming months, to aid in the dissemination of
> local aboriginal culture, particularly in border regions, where
> people often tune in stations from neighbouring countries.
> Most of the station's 15 staff members had previous radio experience
> on school and community stations, but their knowledge and skills were
> limited to producing programmes, not running a whole radio station.
> "The most difficult part is the administration of the station,
> getting it up and running and creating visibility," explained Arias.
> The new station has already managed to gain support from local
> municipal governments, which will be purchasing air time for official
> Because the nearest business is 40 km away, private commercial
> advertising is not a viable option for financing the station, which
> in any event is run with volunteer labour.
> "COMFER may continue granting radio licences for the Mocovi Indians
> in the Chaco region and the Wichi community in Salta (both in
> northern Argentina), but without visibility, the survival of these
> stations, and of the project as a whole, cannot be guaranteed," Arias
> concluded. (END/2005)
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