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On January 16th and 17th, 2016, Narganá, Comarca Guna Yala, Panama became the birthplace of the Central American Network of Indigenous Community Radios, with more than 40 radio directors from all seven countries in Central America as witnesses. Multiplying efforts to democratize communication in the region, this network will build on and strengthen community radio movements in each country.

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En el 16 y 17 de enero, 2016, Narganá, Comarca Guna Yala fue lugar de nacimiento de la Red Centroamericana de Radios Comunitarias Indígenas, donde más de 40 directores y directoras de Radios comunitarias de 7 países de la región (Belice, Guatemala, el Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica y panamá), fueron testigos y artífices de esta nueva Red que les permitirá fortalecer las luchas por visibilizar su labor diaria, y así sumarse a los esfuerzos de la región por la democratización de las comunicaciones, con particular enfoque en las necesidades de los pueblos indígenas.

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On January 19-21, 2016 the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held an Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Languages at the UN Headquarters in New York. This meeting was a call to action for the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages. It is estimated that of the 6,000 to 7,000 oral languages in the world, one language dies every two weeks or less. Most of the languages experiencing this extinction are Indigenous ones. The experts at the meeting discussed methods of revitalizing Indigenous languages by examining successful initiatives as well as proposing new strategies.

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Cultural Survival stands in support of Bill 4087, Community Media Law, which is currently being considered in the Guatemalan Congress. A vote on this bill could be scheduled for as soon as Tuesday, February 9, 2016 and in order for it to pass, 105 of the 158 members of congress must vote in its favor.  Bill 4087 would modify the existing Guatemalan telecommunications laws to allow access to non-profit community radio licenses for each municipality in Guatemala.

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Cultural Survival apoya a la iniciativa 4087, Ley de Medios Comunitarios, la cual esta siendo considerada en el Congreso de la Republica de Guatemala. El voto para la iniciativa podría estar programado para el martes, 9 de febrero, 2016 a lo mas pronto y para ser aprobado, 105 de los 158 miembros del congreso tienen que votar a favor de la ley. La Iniciativa 4087 modificaría la ley existente de telecomunicaciones guatemalteca para permitir acceso a frecuencias radiales para radios comunitarias sin fines de lucro en cada municipio del país.  

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Riding the tides of Guatemala’s recent political uprising, congressional allies in Guatemala have managed to insert the Community Media Bill 4087 onto the agenda in Congress this week in Guatemala City.

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“We must change the mentality of human beings to create new generations that understand, demand, support, and construct a new reality. Community radio is essential to...the strengthening and development of Indigenous communities and women towards the defense of their human rights" - Ada Villarreal, Universidad Indígena de la Costa Caribe, Nicaragua

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On December 28, 2015 Ethiopia’s Agricultural Ministry revoked their contract with Karuturi Global Limited, an Indian company who in 2010 won a concession for 100,000 hectares of land to be developed for industrial agriculture for export in the Gambella region of southern Ethiopia,

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Environmental activist and human rights defender Nasako Besingi was handed another sentence by local courts in Cameroon last week on January 21st, 2016, adding to the judicial harassment prompted by his work organizing against a massive palm oil plantation in south western Cameroon. Besingi was convicted of unlawful assembly and sentenced 

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The gigantic Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, located on the Xingu River in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, stood just weeks away from beginning operation this week — but the controversial mega-dam, the third largest on earth, has now been blocked from generating electricity by the Brazilian court system until its builders and the government meet previous commitments made to the region’s Indigenous People.

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In a major win for Indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples in Honduras, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a judgment in January declaring the State of Honduras responsible for the violation of collective ownership rights and the lack of judicial protection. The case was brought by OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras which has been working for years to defend the territory of the Indigenous Garifuna peoples and a partner of a broad coalition of Indigenous and campesino rights organizations across Honduras.

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Dormant for 150 years, a lost Indigenous language is brought back to life by a Native woman, setting into motion a vital cultural revitalization process.

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