CFJE expresses concern over radio closure in Peru

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

CJFE expresses concern over
radio closure in Peru

22 June 1999

Alberto Fujimori Fujimori
President of the Republic of Peru
Governmental Palace
Lima, Peru
Fax: +51 1 4276722

Your Excellency,

On behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-governmental organization which promotes free expression worldwide, I am writing to express my serious concern about the arbitrary action taken by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) against Radio HGV in Santa Cruz, district of Cajamarca.

On 9 June 1999, representatives of the MTC arrived at the Radio HGV studios and, without explanation, cut the signal and seized two transmission tubes. The Ministry personnel stated that they were acting on the orders of Minister Alberto Pandolfi.

Station press manager, José Luis Vasquez Paisig, was informed by one of the persons carrying out the order that the provincial mayor, Cruz Anacario Díaz Mego, and governor Alberto Coronel Guevara had denounced the radio station. Accompanying the denouncement was a petition, later learned to have been signed under false pretenses by peasants who believed they were signing a document requesting farming tools.

A second reason cited for the station's closure was that it was operating without a license. However, when HGV began broadcasting five months ago, it was given a provisional permit by the MTC in Cajamarca and a license by the Santa Cruz Provincial Municipality while it underwent the process of obtaining an operating licence. The application failed only a few days before the station was due to obtain its licence.

In a public demonstration lasting three hours, the public spoke out against this attack on freedom of expression and urged local authorities and government officials to immediately reinstate the radio station with which they have come to identify.

CJFE supports the public's sentiment and asks that Station HGV be reopened and the seized equipment be returned. We ask that you inform this office and the public of your action in this matter.

Yours truly,

Wayne Sharpe
Executive Director

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