AMARC asks for an urgent intervention of the Freedom of expression and Indigenous peoples rapporteurs in defense of the Mapuche radios

Santiago de Chile, April 2nd, 2012. AMARC Chile realized an observer mission on Mapuche community media and radios’ freedom of expression, realized in Araucania and Los Rios regions, Chile, from January 25 to 27 2012.
As a result of this mission, the network published a report asking for an urgent intervention of the Freedom of expression and Indigenous peoples rapporteurs in defense of those radios. The request is included in the results report.
 Among the requests done to the UN Rapporteurs for the freedom of expression and opinion and for Indigenous peoples’ rights, as well as to the Rapporteur of the Organization of American States (OAS), there is to take care of the situation in which are living the Mapuche women communicators as a result of the exercise of the right to communicate.
Furthermore, we ask to the Chilean government to repeal the article 36B(a) of the Telecommunications Law that penalizes the community radio broadcasting without concession. This affected directly the Kimche Mapu Radio, a community radio in the Puquiñe Valley in the district of Lanco, which has been visited during the mission where the risky situation of this radio was noticed as an outcome of this legislation that penalizes freedom of expression.
The mission also allowed the observation of the fact that there are no public policies in place to stop the monolingualism are promoting, protecting and revitalizing the Mapudungun language through media. Mapuche media are facing severe economical conditions for their functioning. There is no public funding to develop specifically those media.
The organizations part of the mission learnt, in November 2011, the existence of two cases affecting seriously the functioning of Mapuche community radios through the application of the general Telecommunications Law in force, which penalizes the broadcast without authorization and that allows the radio licence’s revocation. On this occasion, a Mapuche woman communicator has been accused and, even if the legal action has been suspended following a decision of the public department, the accusation could reappear if another denunciation happens.
It is the first time that organizations dedicated to the defense of the right to communicate and to the freedom of expression offer to raise and disseminate information on the ground about the violation of Mapuche media rand radios rights. Their aim is to answer to the need to complete the reports and denunciations regarding the human rights violations in Indigenous communities.
This mission was the initiative of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and Mapuexpress Editorial Collective Pro Bono Foundation, South American Union of Correspondents’ Associations participated, in collaboration with the Observatory of the Right to Communicate and Indigenous People and the Latin-American Coordination on Cinema and Communication of Indigenous Peoples (CLACPI) and the Public Policies Center on Indigenous Rights (CEPPDI).
Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 130 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983, has been to accompany and support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and cooperation.

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