Ten investigative media platforms from Latin America combined forces to create ALiados, a network to strengthen mutual cooperation and find new ways to sustain independent journalism.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has accused transnational buissneses and the local government of attacking and harrassing community radio stations in Oaxaca, Mexico that are opposed to the building of a wind power station in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
The Uruguayan government has opened up six frequencies to community radio stations after a public call for proposals, said the website Voces.
The president of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina, approved the reform to the General Telecommunications law, which extends leases on the current broadcast spectrum for another 20 years and weakens indigenous groups' access to radio frequencies, according to the newspaper Prensa Libre on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
The government of Uruguay ordered the closing of 74 community broadcasters for noncompliance with a law past last Nov. 1, reported the newspaper El País. According to the government, 20 of the broadcasters were proselytizing, added the newspaper.
Currently in Brazil there are more than 4,000 licensed active community radio stations. If non-authorized radio stations were included, this number would drastically increase. The process for granting broadcasting licenses, however, is slow: in some cases, it can take 10 years to get a broadcast license. As such, it's not rare to find cases such as that of José Eduardo Rocha Santos, owner of a community radio in the state of Sergipe, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for operating a radio station without a license.
The owner of a Brazilian community radio station in the city of Ilha das Flores (in the state of Sergipe) was absolved by a regional court after being sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for operating the radio station without authorization.
A Colombian journalist received a threatening phone call with the sounds of automatic weapons being fired while music played in the background, reported Reporters Without Borders.
The Center for Informative Reports of Guatemala (Cerigua in Spanish) criticized the closure of two community radio stations and six local television channels so far in May. According to Cerigua, dozens of community broadcasters operate illegally because of a lack of legislation that would grant them operating licenses. As a result, the stations often suffer persecution at the hands of local authorities.
On Thursday, April 12, Mexican federal Congress members approved a series of changes to the current Federal Law of Radio and Television that would allow for indigenous communities to request permits to operate radio stations.