Radio Waruguma of the Garifuna Commmunity
The right to information; Ecomonic, social and cultural rights (DESC); Territorial defense
THE FACTS – The Waruguma community radio station, located in the city of Trujillo, received a statement from the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL), issued last March 21st, in which the station is labeled as “REBELLIOUS” and said to be the property of OFRANEH. This is the second time that Radio Waruguma has received rulings aimed at closing it down. Another community radio station, Radio Sugua in Sambo Creek, had also received closure threats from CONATEL in 2014.
The Network of Garifuma Community Radio stations plays the role of informing listeners and strengthening the Garifuna culture and language, thereby mitigating the cultural and ecomonic disparities that the Garifuna peoples suffer in Honduras. Nevertheless, the community radios have had to deal with numerous problems, ranging from the intentional fire set at Radio Faluma Bimetu in 2010, to the rulings sent by CONATEL, as well as constant threats, especially since the coup de ‘etat perpetrated in 2009.
The judicial persecution by CONATEL is a violation of the Inter-American Convention of Human Rights, which, in its Article 13, Paragraph 3 states that “The right of expression may not be restricted by indirect methods or means, such as the abuse of government or private controls over newsprint, radio broadcasting frequencies, or equipment used in the dissemination of information, or by any other means tending to impede the communication and circulation of ideas and opinions.”
We of IM-Defensoras recognize the crucial work of the community radio stations in moving towards compliance with the econòmic, social and cultural rights of the Garifuna peoples, and we demand that the government of Honduras, in keeping with regional and international human rights standards, ensure the existence and operation and exercise of the full freedom of expression of the Garifuna communities, and refrain from placing any legal obstacle or any other type of obstacle in their way.