July 30, 10:00 pm. Our friends at U.S. Sister Cities just forwarded to us an email update from Christina at Radio Victoria in Sesuntepeque, Cabanas. Over the past few weeks we’ve posted a few articles about the increase in political violence and threats in Cabanas, which began with the assassination of Marcelo Rivera, and has escalated into an attack on Father Quintanilla and threats against employees of Radio Victoria.
Though we do not have all of the details, someone sabotaged the radio station last night then again this evening. The email we received from Christina states that sometime last night the saboteur(s) attacked the radio’s electricity shutting down the transmitter and forcing the radio off the air. They were able to fix the electrical system and get the radio back on-line today, but tonight the saboteurs again shut down the transmitter to forced the radio off-air.
Isabel Gamez, the head of Radio Victoria’s news team, was the last person at the radio station tonight. Just after her last co-worker left, she received a phone call – the caller indicated that they knew she was alone, and that they came for her last night, but will have better luck tonight.
No one is certain who is making these threats and attacks, nor their exact motive. Marcelo Rivera, the employees at Radio Victoria, and Father Quintanilla, who was attacked Monday night, are all leaders in the struggle against mining, local corruption, and other social injustice. So far, the police and attorney general’s office have failed to properly investigate any of these crimes. They have attributed Marcelo’s homicide to gang violence, and failed in their duty to protect.
Stay tuned for a Call for Action – you can help!