Statement From the Conference of Free Media and Community Radios

Conference of Free Media and Community Radios
March 19, 2017

After nine months of repression suffered by the community of Asunción Nochixtlán at the hands of federal and state forces, we have taken up the task to unite in the Third National Conference of Free Media and Community Radios. The objective of the conference, as it was in the previous two conferences, has been to maintain, promote and develop ourselves, tying networks of solidarity and mutual aid, seeking to unite the communities and communicators that make up the group, around shared problems and hopes.

It was decided that the community of Asunción Nochixtlán was the right location, to support and cover the compañerxs in resistance, who have been victim to the cowardly aggressions of the bad government. It is a community that has endured pain, but has maintained its organization and rebellion. It’s community radio, La Combativa, is a space of the word from below. Compañerxs of the rebellious communities of Oaxaca are the heart of this effort to unify medias, seeking to share knowledge and collectivize forces, linking networks of affinity to strengthen independent communication from below.

During the workdays, more than forty different medias were present, presenting and providing feedback related to their communication projects. The format of this conference was based in workshops, permitting the exchange of knowledge of community radio, streaming, tools of security and investigation, political formation, as well as risks to communicators.

Knowledge was also shared through plenaries and workgroups, giving visibility to the repression that the free media has suffered. These activities promoted the coordination of actions seeking the protection and expansion of the work of our communicating compañerxs. Within this context, and amidst the threat against journalists and violence against women, the necessity to create a network of security for women participating in free media arose. A space where the compañeras (women radio workers, photographers, and other collaborators of free media), find defense, security and support to denounce whatever type of violence is exercised against them. This network seeks to take responsibility against violence, to create a secure space of dialogue and coexistence, promoting the resolution of conflicts, as well as the reflection and critical analysis of what communicators do.

We as free media and communicators struggle against media manipulation the powers that be impose upon the people. Within this context, the projects that have gathered here at this conference, have accompanied and actively participated in processes of organization and resistance in diverse locations where our voices and our words have not been taken into account, but have rather been attacked and silenced. We thus make the following denunciations against these repressive actions:

– The harassment of the collective at Radio Zapote on part of the authorities of National School of History and Anthropology (ENAH) since the initiation of activities of the new management in January of 2016. This began with the arbitrary dismissal of the compañero and worker Arturo Camas for nothing more than participating in the radio collective. The administration has systematically harassed the workers of the station, using the security forces that work at the ENAH facilities.

– On March 7th, 2017, the cabin of Regeneración Radio was completely looted (microphones, cables, headphones, mixers, audio processors and a computer with an archive of more than ten years of work). This is not the first time they have been attacked. It is important to remember that September 21st, 2015, the interior of their station was completely destroyed by a violent group at UNAM, carried out along with physical aggressions, threats of death, and the attempted assassination of one of the members, who was stabbed three times.

– The seizure and subsequent robbery of the cabin and workspace of Laboratorio Popular de Medios Libres, on part of the government of Miguel Mancera in Mexico City.

– Beneath this same theme of denunciation, in the state of Oaxaca, the community and educative radio Tuun Ñuu Savi: La Palabra del Pueblo de la Lluvia, has experienced aggressions since its foundation in 2014. They have been harassed and stigmatized as an illegal and pirate radio. The powers that be have created a dangerous climate against the radio workers. The result has been the death of Salvador Olmos García and Agustín Pavia Pavia in 2016. Furthermore, the frequency of the station has experienced constant interference. Radio Tuun Ñuu Savi demands the federal, state and municipal authorities to cease the violence. They demand the judicial powers to accelerate the investigations and punish those responsible for these crimes. They also demand that the radios with concessions in Huajuapan de León and in the Mixteca of Oaxaca give up their campaigns against the radio.

– In the Cañada region, the compañerxs of the community radio Ricardo Flores Magón in the community of Teotitlán, denounce their signal having been interfered with by CORTV (official media of the state government of Oaxaca).

– We also denounce the harassment of members of Diversa Radio for the cancellation of their program in Radio Chapingo without any justification.

Amidst this climate of harassment, we propose a stronger and more effective coordination where we can support each other amidst the attacks carried out against free and community media. We will not permit more harassment, aggression and the looting of our equipment.

Opposing the aggression of the state against critical journalism, we join together to protest, denounce and condemn the assassination of our compañerxs who support, defend and cover the dignified struggles of the people.

Mexico lives amongst a crisis of disappearances and forced disappearances. It is the families of the disappeared that have uncovered the truth: the country is a clandestine grave. We understand, salute, accompany and stand in solidarity with the citizen initiative in search of the disappeared and of the National Brigade in Search of Disappeared Peoples as fundamental social labor combatting the omissions of the state. Our free media and community radios will continue demanding justice for the people of Nochixtlán. We condemn the attack on compañero Santiago Ambrosio Hernández, president of the COVIC, as well as the recent act of violence against Felipe Montesinos, who was shot at by people passing in a suburban with covered plates. This took place at 11pm, just a few hours after having concluded the Third National Conference of Free Media and Community Radios in the community of Nochixtlán. We as free media and community radios will denounce and condemn whatever aggression against the victims of June 19th. No more aggression without response.

We demand the presentation of our 43 Normalista compañeros of Ayotzinapa. We endorse the vigilant struggle of the field-working compañerxs of San Quintín for a dignified salary. We protest against the education reform and all of the attempts to privatize our natural resources. We stand against the punishment, silencing and censurship derived from the reform of the law of IFETEL.

For the visibilization, appreciation and recognition of women communicators and their specific grievances, we demand an end to the harassment and aggressions against compañera communicators.

We have given to this struggle and we will continue doing so alongside various communities and movements, alongside the teachers, to whom we fraternally request to support the creation, recuperation and defense of all of these spaces, as well as the compañerxs that sustain them.

No aggression without response
Conference of Free Media and Community Radios
Asunción de Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, Mexico
March 2017

COVIC Comite de Victimas de Nochixtlán; Coordinadora Nacional de Medios Libres; Seccion XXII CNTE; Radio La Combativa de Nochixtlan; Ateneacalling GRECIA; Radio Comunitaria Xadani Oaxaca; Radio Plantón Oaxaca; Regeneración radio DF; Radio Voces Nuestras Voz de todos Normal de Ayotzinapa Guerrero; Luna Negra Espacio cultural; Radio Comunitaria Amiltzinko Morelos; Surco Informativo DF; Desde las nubes Oaxaca; Radio Aguilita La Merced DF, Radio Santa Maria La Rivera DF, Radio Tuun Ñuu Savi Huajuapan Oaxaca; Radio Xhuba huini del Itsmo Oaxaca; Radio Comunitaria Zacacopan Eloxochitlan Puebla; Radio Metamorfosis urbana DF; La Voladora Radio Amecameca Edo de Mexico; Radio Zapatista Chiapas; Tierra Común-Rancho electronico; Mazorca.org; Willakanyun ARGENTINA; Batallones Femeninos Cd Juarez; Radio Zapote DF; Okupa Radio Pachuca Hidalgo; Voices in Movement EUA; Red de Comunicadores Boca de Polen; Colectivo Ruptura; Diversa Radio; Laboratorio Popular de Medios Libres; Colectivo Forum; Asociación de Periodistas independientes de la Mixteca; OIDHO; Radio Klaxon ZAD FRANCIA; Radio Rocardo Flores Magón Teotitaln Oaxaca; FUDEPPA; Radio Yaxhil; Memoria y Territorio; Comucación Integral Comunitaria; Hijos de la Tierra; Radio Hermanos Serdan Puebla; Radio Tacuate; CoAATV.

Translated from the original here: http://radiozapatista.org/?p=20753&lang=en

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