Third Bolivian radio station attacked with dynamite in less than two weeks

By Liliana Honorato

In less than two weeks, a third radio station was attacked with dynamite in Bolivia, in the southeastern city of Oruro, during the early morning hours on Tuesday, June 26, the Sole Union Confederation of Rural Workers of Bolivia (CSUTCB in Spanish) reported, according to the Fide News Agency (ANF in Spanish).

According to Reporters Without Borders, this attack occurred in the midst of a “wave of labor unrest” in Bolivia, which worsened with the protests of police officers demanding higher salaries. Officers made some journalists “the targets of their anger”. The National Press Association of Bolivia (ANP in Spanish) recorded the attacks of 15 camera operators and journalists of the state TV channel that were trying to cover the police conflict in the cities of La PazCobijaTrinidad and Santa Cruz de la Sierra after being mistaken for ‘spies,’” the Global Network for Free Expression (IFEX) said.

The most recently attacked station, Radio Emisoras Bolivia, serves the Oruro farmers, Radio FM Bolivia explained. Félix Condori, the director of Radio Emisoras Bolivia, said that the attack was no accident, as a few days before the explosion some of the radio staff members received anonymous threats, the digital newspaper Erbol reported.

The attack against Radio Emisoras Bolivia, which occurred 12 days after two other radio stations were also attacked with dynamite in Colquiri, a town close to the city of Oruro, was classified as a terrorist act by the Farmers Federation of the Oruro Department, Eju TV said. “Attacking a media outlet is a crime; it's like silencing the voice of a village,” the farmers said.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.