Juventud and Cultural Survival staff return from Guatemala city with
reclaimed radio equipment.
Demanded their Seized Radio Equipment from the Guatemalan Government and
Got it Back!
On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, Sololá's beloved Radio
Juventud became another community radio station raided by the Guatemalan
Public Ministry, as the current telecommunication law outlaws community
radio stations despite their guarantee in the 1996 Peace Accords and the
Guatemalan Constitution. All equipment was seized.
For over 10 years Radio
Juventud has contributed to educating and informing the surrounding
communities. Broadcasting a majority of its programs in the local
Indigenous language, Kaqchiqel, the station counts women, children,
elders and many youth among its members. Sololá's Indigenous communities are informed of their rights as
Indigenous people, in part due to the efforts of Radio Juventud
broadcasting Indigenous Rights Radio programming produced
and distributed globally by Cultural Survival.
Immediately following the
raid, the community quickly organized and notified the Indigenous
Municipal Authorities. Together, they addressed the judge who authorized
the raid, citing the
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous (Article 16), the Guatemalan
Constitution and the Peace Accords, while making the case
why the station is essential to their community, and demanding a return
of the seized equipment.
The judge spoke to the leaders and stated that he had signed the
permission without understanding the effect it would have on the
Indigenous authorities and radio volunteers began protesting
in front of the courthouse and demanded that the judge petition the
Office of the Public Prosecutor and the National Police to return of all
the confiscated equipment.
the community won! On December 16 all
equipment was returned to the community! This was the first time EVER,
equipment was returned after a raid, setting a major precedent for
community radio stations all over the country!
most important element of Indigenous Peoples' ability to claim [their
rights] is to have informed and organized communities. -UN
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Delegate
Indigenous communities that know their rights and are organized
make the impossible happen! In
2014, Cultural Survival produced and distributed more than 300 radio
programs in 20 languages to almost 1,000 radio stations in 55 countries
informing Indigenous listeners about their rights to land, culture, and
freedom of expression.
Cultural Survival advocates for
Indigenous Peoples rights and supports Indigenous communities'
self-determination, cultures and political resilience, since 1972.
We envision a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples
inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in
lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted
in self-determination and self-governance. For more information go
Cultural Survival | PO Box 381569 | Cambridge | MA | 02238