1. Send an Email
Dear Members of Guatemalan Congress,
In solidarity with the Community Radio Movement of Guatemala, we express our disapproval of the proposed law 4479, presented by the representatives of the LIDER Party in the Congress of the Republic on July 10, 2012, which aims to criminalize the use of radio spectrum. This initiative is aimed at community radio stations that do not have legal status and are fighting for recognition. For that reason, since 2010, community radio stations have been promoting the initiative 4087, which proposes the legal recognition of the same.
This initiative 4479 undermines the democratization of the media, because the role of the state is only to manage the radio spectrum because it is a common good that belongs to the Guatemalan people collectively and not only the business sector. This measure is contrary to the provisions of subsection H of the Agreement on Identity and Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Article 35 of the Political Constitution of the Republic and international agreements. Freedom of expression is a human right established in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and in Article 13 of the American Convention of the Organization of American States. Furthermore, Article 16 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples specifies the right of indigenous peoples to have their own media. The proposed law also threatens the efforts of the community radio movement, which for 16 years fought for the recognition within the legal framework of the country of the right of indigenous and other traditionally excluded peoples to have their own media.
We ask those honest members of Congress elected by popular vote to oppose the adoption of this initiative, which only serves the interests of the media monopoly in Guatemala, and not the interests of the excluded majorities. Furthermore, we demand that the Congress facilitate approval of Initiative 4087, on community media, which already has received a favorable ruling from the Congressional Commission of Indigenous Peoples.
While on August 9, 2012, the United Nations proclaimed the international year of indigenous media, in Guatemala indigenous peoples are still denied the right of having their own media.
2. Share via Social Media:
Copy and paste this message to Twitter:
Urge #Guatemala president @ottoperezmolina to legalize #Indigenous community radio. Send an email here via @CSORG /take-action/guatemala-save-indigenous-radio/guatemala-save-indigenous-radio
Exigimos al Presidente @ottoperezmolina que legalize la radio comunitaria en #Guatemala via @CSORG /take-action/guatemala-save-indigenous-radio/guatemala-save-indigenous-radio
Copy and paste this message on the President's Facebook page:
President Perez Molina: I urge you to respect the rights guaranteed to Indigenous Peoples in the Peace Accords of 1996 and do all in your power to put bill 4087 for Community Media onto the congressional agenda for a vote. Community Radio is a tool for development for the people of Guatemala, and promotes the language and culture of Indigenous Peoples.
En nombre del movimiento de radios comunitarias en Guatemala, exigimos la inclusión de la Iniciativa de ley 4087 en la agena del Congreso de la Republica. Libertad de expresión por medio de la radio fue garantizada a Pueblos Indigenas en los Acuerdos de Paz de 1996, con su nombre como signatario.
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3. Write a Letter
Write your own letter, or download a text document of this letter here. Print, sign, and mail to the following address:
Señor Presidente Otto Perez Molina
Cuidad Guatemala, Guatemala