Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Death Squad Resurgence against Radio Victoria

On July 1st, the tortured body of Marcelo Rivera, an organizer against mining in CabaƱas, El Salvador, was found. He had been missing for two weeks. Now, three young radio news reporters from the local community radio station are receiving death threats for their coverage of the case.

Below is an account in English by Wendy Wallas of Radio Victoria. Attached are two pieces of information in Spanish, which explain that Radio Victoria and its sponsor NGO ADES have reported the situation to the Human Rights Ombudsman of El Salvador, who has called on the police to investigate the case and provide enhanced protection.

For more information and to consider possible advocacy action, please contact the SHARE Foundation,

Tim Crouse, Coordinator

From: Wendy Wallas
Subject: Alert !!!!
Date: Friday, July 24, 2009, 8:18 PM

Hi Everyone, i am short on time but want to inform you all that we are having some serious problems in Radio Victoria. We have 3 young community correspondents that have received threats, even death threats, and we have had to pull them out of Cabanas and bring them into the capital.

This comes on the heels of the disappearance and later confirmed death of our friend and activist Marcelo Rivera, who lived in the town of San Isidro, Cabanas, which is between Ilobasco and Sensuntepeque. Marcelo was a community artist, a long time anti-goldmine activist, head of the local casa de cultura, active member of the FMLN and member of his hometown association that connected Salvadorans living in the USA with supporting projects in San Isidro. He took a protagonist role in stopping municipal elections last january due to massive fraud in his town.

Marcelo disappeared and his body appeared 2 weeks later in the bottom of a well. He had been brutally tortured.

Now our community correspondents are getting messages that what happened to Marcelo could happen to them. One of them is also from San Isidro, another is from a nearby town and the other is from a rural community.

Obviously we are upset and worried and we are taking precautions. I am working with a group from the States right now but am in touch with the young folks a few times a day.

i just want you all to know and be ready if we need you to call or write letters or whatever. I will try to keep you posted. The young folks are pretty calm right now and in a very safe place, they are so young and such good reporters and i kind of feel like they are my babies!!! Hold them in your hearts and i will be in touch again soon.

"Elvis" the Radio Victoria sound mixer.

Young producers of Radio Victoria

And this in from Barry Gilbert:
Coincidentally, my cousin was in El Salvador, working with Marcelo on behalf of an NGO when he disappeared. She was strongly urged to leave the country when her other Salvadoran counterparts started receiving death threats. Thankfully, she's safe at home in NYC and is working with a coalition of NGO's to bring attention to this situation and to try to raise money to get some of Marcelo's friends out of the country. I also just found out that a local Catholic priest has also recently started receiving death threats.

There is a lot of evidence that this is all related to their work trying to bring attention to recent negotiations between the government of El Salvador and a large Canadian mining company that wants to exploit the country's gold, which would likely result in massive contamination of the country's water supplies. Sound familiar?

Barry Gilbert

Resources for Radio Accountability

Radio Project in Honduras

A discussion on the Our Media list has collected a useful list of resources about radio regulation and public telecommunication policy:

"Broadcasting, Voice and Accountability: A Public Interest Approach to Policy, Law and Regulation" by Steve Buckley, Kreszentia Duer, Toby Mendel and Sean O Siochru, The University of Michican Press, Ann Arbor, 2008.
* Price-Davies, Eryl & Tacchi, Jo (2001) Community Radio in a Global Context: A Comparative Analysis in Six Countries. Sheffield: Community MediaAssociation.
is available online at

*Community Media in Europe. The legal and economic framework of the third audiovisual sector in UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Niedersachsen (Germany) and Ireland
by Helmut Peissl & Otto Tremetzberger
an English summary (12 pages) is available at

A revised version of this piece will be published on a special issue on community media of Elsevier's 'Telematics and Informatics', to be published in electronic version shortly (details to be circulated closer to time) edited by Nico Carpentier and me and including a range of articles on European Community Radio policy and practice written by both academics and practitioners, as well alternative media theory and practice.

* Legislation on community radio broadcasting: comparative study of the legislation of 13 countries (2003). Including profiles of
Argentina; Australia; Canada; Colombia; El Salvador; Ghana; India; Lebanon; Philippines; Poland; Spain; South Africa and Uruguay
is available at

Please also note that the study 'The State of Community Media in Europe' for some reason is not anymore available at the given URL.
You can retrieve from Community Media Forum Europe's site at

Those are two sites which can be intersting: and

Steve Buckley added this:
International: CRTC release comparative study on regulation and funding of community radio

For some other community media policy/law updates check
only recently started, but aiming to keep an eye on this sort of thing.

Thanks to BL for asking the question and all the Our Media group who responded!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dublin Community Television Celebrates One Year on the Air!

Looking Left 2 : The Ripening of Time from DCTV on Vimeo.

From Sean O Siochru:
I am proud to say that Dublin Community Television, following more than a decade in planning, lobbying and building, is today celebrating the first birthday of its official launch last July. With seven full-time staff, lots of short-term people and volunteers, we now produce up to 40 hours a month of community programmes (as well as broadcasting selections from around the world), much of it in our new state-of-the-low-end-art studio. This volume of own-produced stuff puts us second only to RTE - the public service broadcaster here!

You can find out more about DCTV at, and we go out on cable all over Ireland (Republic only!). But you can also stream our own-produced programmes from Vimeo (the cheapest way we could find to stream high quality), and all can be torrent-downloaded (all creative commons. of course). See: videos/sort:date for about 55 programmes, including local and international campaigns; drama made by school children, our own news programme called The Sound; and lots lots more.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Through a Lens Darkly

Thomas Allen Harris uses the internet to connect communities through photograph sharing.