On Friday we posted information about more threats against journalists at Radio Victoria. Yesterday our friends at US Sister Cities set up an online petition that we encourage you to sign – just visit change.org and sign up.
They have also put together an email that you can send to the Attorney General Romeo Barahona’s office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the office of David Morales (email@example.com), the Director of Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
EMAIL TEXT IN ENGLISH:
Subject: Stop Death Threats toward Journalists
Mr. Barahona and Mr. Morales:
I am very concerned about the continued death threats that journalists at Radio Victoria have received between April 30th and May 4th of this year. Prior threats have gone uninvestigated despite numerous calls for their investigation and for the protection of the journalists. As a member of the international community, I am very worried about this attack on human rights and freedom of expression.
In January of 2011, members of the international community called on you to protect Radio Victoria journalists and community leaders in and the department of Cabañas, and to investigate cases of violence toward activists in the region since 2009. By not responding to these demands, the government has allowed these extermination groups to continue repressing and threatening activists in Cabañas.
I demand that you conduct a full investigation of these threats toward journalists, and that you ensure specialized police protection for all Radio Victoria employees.
The international and Salvadoran community will greatly appreciate your taking steps to investigate these cases and provide protection to those whose lives are in danger.
EMAIL TEXT IN SPANISH:
Subject: Alto a las Amenazas de Muerte Contra Los Periodistas de Radio Victoria
Estimados Sr. Barahona y Sr. Morales:
Estoy muy preocupado por la nueva olla de amenazas de muerte que han recibido los y las periodistas de Radio Victoria entre 30 de abril y 04 de mayo de este año. Amenazas previas no se han investigado a pesar de los numerosos llamamientos para su investigación y para la protección de los periodistas. Como miembro de la comunidad internacional, estoy muy preocupado por este nuevo ataque contra los derechos humanos y la libertad de expresión.
En enero de 2011, los miembros de la comunidad internacional pidieron que usted protegiera a periodistas de Radio Victoria y los líderes comunitarios del departamento de Cabañas, y que investigara los casos de violencia contra activistas en la región que han seguido desde 2009. La falta de acción por parte del gobierno ha permitido que estos sigan con sus campañas de terror y represión.
Exijo que se realice una investigación completa de estas amenazas a periodistas, y que se asegure protección policíal especializada para todos los empleados de Radio Victoria.
La comunidad internacional y salvadoreña agradecerá su trabajo para investigar estos casos y asegurar protección a aquellos cuyas vidas están en peligro.
And yesterday we received an email from Radio Victoria that we want to share:
Everyone at Radio Victoria would like to thank the many people and organizations that have been denouncing the death threats to our workers and also for sending emails and making phone calls to authorities here in El Salvador.
It has been a difficult and busy week, and all the support we have received keeps our spirits up and motivates us to move forward.
It is not possible to give many details about some things we are doing for security reasons. But I would like to quote one of the Radio’s workers:
“I want to say that today more than ever the news show must go forward, we must continue denouncing and making the communities’ voices heard and felt. Radio Victoria’s news team continues on even though we are afraid, I won’t deny that, but the news show can never be silenced.”
Radio Victoria exists because it was born out of and belongs to an heroic and well organized community, and because there is a network of friends and colleagues, which includes each one of you, that believe in Radio Victoria’s mission, stand by the Radio, defend the Radio and denounce cowardly attacks against the Radio.
We are very grateful for your steadfast support and know that together we can overcome the dark forces that seek to impose their will by force and intimidation.
We will continue to keep you all informed as we can.
Thank you again.
As we have stated on this blog before, the youth at Radio Victoria embody the ongoing struggle for freedom and democracy in El Salvador. Please sign the petition and send an email – your support makes a difference!