This short piece celebrates the fourteen-year anniversary of Radio Ñomndaa, an Indigenous, autonomous and community radio in Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero. The original in Spanish was published by Ké Huelga Radio and can be found here.
By: Palabra Indómita
December 19-20th, 2018
Radio Ñomndaa, the word of water, marked its 14th anniversary of transmitting from the hill of Suljaa’ (Xochistlahuaca). On December 20th, 2004, a microphone was turned on, operated by Nnanncue Ñomndaa Indigenous people. The history of this free and autonomous media has not been easy with stumbles, ups and downs.
In July of 2008, the IFT (Federal Institute of Telecommunications) carried out an operation on the “Hill of Flowers” to dismantle Radio Ñomndaa. The Nnanncue Ñomndaa people defended their radio and began a local consultation to decide if they would solicit permission from the government to transmit on the FM airwaves. The community said no. Two years later, in 2010, arrest warrants were emitted against Genaro Cruz Apóstol, Silverio Matías and David Valtierra (Valtierra being the founder of Radio Ñomndaa). These arrest warrants derived from events in 2011, when the community of Suljaa’ (Xochistlahuaca) demanded respect for their traditional authorities (Nanmaniaan) and the installation of an autonomous municipality (which lasted a very short time). In 2012, during a dispute for natural resources, Radio Ñomndaa spoke out against the authorization of the construction of water canals, due to the damage the project would do to the San Pedro River. This work crossed their territory and caused a social conflict with the government of Ometepec who acted with exclusion and discrimination to impose the hydraulic infrastructure that “pipes” the river from San Pedro Cuitlapa.
The Radio Ñomndaa frequency has constantly denounced violations committed against Indigenous Nnnanncue Ñomndaa, Ñuu Savi, Nahuas, Mepha and other peoples of the Costa Chica region of Guerrero. At the local level, it has continually spoke out against the corrupt government of the PRIISTA Aceadeth Rocha and the robbery of public funds in the municipality during her administration—along with the repression and harassment.It has also denounced the extraction of gravel from the Quetzala and Santa Catarina Rivers. At the state level, it has denounced aggressions against the CETEG Normalista professors; the students of the Normalista schools, in particular the brutal disappearance of the 43 students of the Rural Normal School “Isidro Burgos” of Ayotzinapa; the criminalization of the campesinos of CECOP who are organizing in opposition to the La Parota hydroelectric dam; and the political prisoners of the state, like those of Ayutla, Olinalá and the mountain region.At the national level, the radio has organized with other social movements,like the People’s Front in Defense of Land (FPTD) of San Salvador Atenco, the Yaquis of Sonora, the Other Campaign, with the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN, to mention just a few.
The radio was born with the desire to give voice to the Nnanncue Ñomndaa (Amuzgos), of the more than 25 Indigenous localities from this region, those from these warm lands. In their pathway forward they have articulated with other community radios that seek to communicate the truth of the people in struggle. Today it has positioned itself as a referent of Indigenous communication. The radio operates without a state budget, only with the permission of the people and the voluntary contributions of its collaborators and people in solidarity.
On December 19thand 20th, 2018, we celebrated the 14th anniversary of the radio. On the 19th we there was a discussion on the defense and care of our bodies and territories from the people and free media. Iracema Gavilán gave a talk about how the extractive and mining operations function in the Wirikuta plateau. Griselda Sánchez shared the experience of Radio Totopo in their work in defense of the air against the wind farms that operate in the Itsmo de Tehuantepec. Maribel González analyzed the initiative of the Agrarian Development Law and Mariana López addressed violence against bodies and territories.
The words of the women’s struggle animated others to join the work. Their voice and hands are fundamental to counterbalance the violence with which the powerful operate. Throughout the day, people arrived on foot from other places: the compañeros ex-prisoners of Ayutla de los Libres, Guerrero. Jesús Romero for example, who convoked a mobilization to demand the incoming government to fulfill its commitment to free the political prisoners; the Tioko collective of the mountain region arrived to share their word and celebrate the existence of the radio; agrarian commissioners from neighboring communities, among others.
On December 20th, there was a collective radio transmission where various radios participated including: Radio Tachi Ñu Itia Tanu of Metlatonoc; Tsilinkalli Radio of Xoxocitla, Morelos; Radio Jënpoj of Tlahuitoltepec, Mixe zone, Oaxaca; Voladora Radio from Amecameca, State of Mexico; Ke Huelga Radio; Noticias de Abajo; Disonancia Radio; Radio Plantón; and other free media who are seen as compañeros in struggle. Later on, we celebrated another anniversary with the rhythm of coastal sones, chilenas and cumbias.
Our fourteen years of making radio has taken place within the context of rising criminalization and harassment against social communicators and fighters, not only in the state of Guerrero but also on a national and global scale. The power of capital wants to silence critical voices, of care and love for life. From this community that has been a referent of work, we salute, honor and celebrate the existence of the radio; the resistance of the peoples that struggle; and continue…