This week Radio Victoria in Cabañas El Salvador is reporting a new series of threats against their staff. According to their May 3rd press release, on April 30 someone slipped a note under the Raido’s front entrance threatening three staff members if they did not leave the Radio by Wednesday May 4th. The evening of May 2, two Radio journalists received text messages on their cell phones containing threats, including one that threatened the 3-year-old daughter of one of the journalists if they did not change the “tone” of the reporting.
Radio Victoria, ADES (Santa Marta’s Social and Economic Development Association) held a press conference yesterday, May 4, in front of El Salvador’s Attorney General’s Office denouncing the lack of investigation into these and previous threats. Following the press conference, two journalists received threats via text message.
Reporters and other staff members of the Radio have received numerous threats since 2006 and are frustrated because the police and Attorney General’s Office have failed to indentify any of those responsible. The threats intensified during 2009, again at the end of 2010, and have continued since then. Despite each threat being reported to the police and other agencies, locals are unaware of any police investigation.
As we have been reporting over the past few years, the threats and violence in Cabañas stem from tension created over civil society and journalists taking a greater role in shaping the social and economic life in Cabañas. Threats have been attached to the Radio making accusations of election fraud and standing with local environmental organizations against mining. They have succeeded at certain points by driving some employees into hiding or silence, but the Radio has continued its work.
As in the past, we ask you again to support Radio Victoria by demanding a full investigation of the threats and violence against the Radio and others in the region. You can do so by sending an email to Attorney General Romeo Barahona – he and his officers are the only ones with the power to open and close investigations. It is best to email his assistant Hector Burgos at email@example.com. If you speak Spanish, feel free to pick up the phone and call the Attorney General’s office (011-503-2260-6350). You can also send an email to David Morales (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Director of Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Relations, to demand specialized police protection for the Radio staff.
English or Spanish, your voice makes a difference and our friends at Radio Victoria need us all to speak out!