Neighbors and employees stand guard at TV news station threatened by labor union in Bolivia

About 200 neighbors and employees are standing watch night and day at the offices of a TV news station in the city of El Alto (on the outskirts of the Bolivian capital of La Paz) after a labor union threatened to physically seize the station, according to Reporters Without Borders.

The Central Obrera Regional (COR) labor union of El Alto decided on October 7 to take over Canal 57 CVC, as they did the radio station Radio Bartolina Sisa, because the union considers the stations “media that are against our affiliated organizations” and because of its desire to create a “Press Court immediately to expel the blackmailers and bad journalists,” according to the Web site EABolivia.com.

After the COR’s announcement, a Catholic German priest, Sebastián Obermaier, who is the director of the Body of Christ Foundation (FCC in Spanish), which Canal 57 belongs to, called on its employees and residents to sleep at the station and create a blockade to prevent the potential seizure of the news channel.

The COR reported that the neighbors attacked and kicked out the labor leader Wilfredo Mamani, who produced the program Mi Barrio aired on Canal 57 and who was previously suspended for differences with the station, according to the COR.

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