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News > Bolivia

Bolivia Gov't Threatens to Continue Closing Community Radios

  • Bolivia’s de-facto government minister Arturo Murillo threatened community radios.

    Bolivia’s de-facto government minister Arturo Murillo threatened community radios. | Photo: Bolivian Ministry of Government

Published 17 June 2020
Opinion

Since Jeanine Añez took office, at least 50 community radio stations have been shut down, as well as at least 67 journalists imprisoned, threatened, or accused of committing crimes of sedition and terrorism.

Bolivia’s de-facto Government Minister Arturo Murillo threatened Tuesday to shut down community radio stations because, according to him, they incite sedition, terrorism, and violence.

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Bolivia: Añez Backs Down, Annuls Decree Against Speech Freedom

During an interview with a local media outlet, the de-facto minister accused community radio stations such as Radio Kawsachun Coca (RKC) of being media outlets that cover leaders who encourage violence, accusing former president Evo Morales –now a political refugee in Argentina– of being one of the main inciters.

"The route they use for this (inciting) are those communicated through Radio Kawsachun Coca, or community radios (…). These radios like RKC incite violence, terrorism, sedition. Those radios should be shut down," Murillo said.

The announcement comes amid clashes in the regions of Yapacani, Ichilo, and San Julia that have affected some telecommunications antennas.

However, threats, political persecution, and media censorship have characterized the de-facto government since it took power. In fact, international organizations such as the United Nations had already warned of direct attacks on freedom of expression and information in the country.

Since Jeanine Añez took office, at least 50 community radio stations have been shut down, as well as at least 67 journalists according to Amnesty International have been imprisoned, threatened, or accused of committing crimes of sedition and terrorism, just for questioning the government’s actions.

Radio Kawsachun Coca, based in the Tropic of Cochabamba, has been targeted by the de-facto government and has been the victim of several outrages in order to reach the least number of listeners.

The main reason for the attacks is connected to the criminalization of the Tropics and the negative image portrayed by corporate media and the de-facto government in its bid to antagonize the region as it is  Morales' support base.

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