the entirety of Latin America popular movements are rising to fight for
their right to a decent standard of living, a safe environment, and the
preservation of their cultures.
Most lack the funds and resources to print their own
newspapers. In outlying areas, most don’t have computers.
Many even lack telephones. What dozens of communities across Latin
America do have are low power FM broadcast stations, giving voice to people
who otherwise would be totally cut off from any form of media communication.
Local grassroots media outlets played a pivotal role
in defeating the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela where
the corporate broadcast media has done everything possible to vilify and
At numerous gatherings including the 2003 “Tidal
Wave” media convergence in Cancun and the 2005 World Social Forum,
media activists and organizers of popular and indigneous movements from
Mexico and Central America and South America expressed an urgent need
for many more radio stations to flourish throughout the continent - and
But for a small amount of money ($1,000 to $1800 for
a complete station package) to purchase transmitter equipment, many more
community stations could go on the air right away. Or $7000 to $8000
to conduct a 4-5 day radio camp training session in any given country,
leading to the establishment of ten 40 watt radio stations at an average
cost of $700 to $800 per station. (The money spent to leaflet and
poster for a single national anti-war march in the U.S. would fund the
installation of dozens of such small stations.)
Community radio makes a tremendous difference in places
where other forms of media are non-existent. A community in Honduras,
for example, recently put a 50 watt FM broadcast station on the air for
the first time. “La Voz Lenca” serves this rural Honduran
population currently under government repression by alerting people with
reports of threats and calls for action. In Oaxaca, Mexico, a group
of teenagers are currently using a portable loudspeaker to broadcast bilingually
in Spanish and Mixtec. An FM transmitter would give their programs
a much greater range.
What emerged from our conversations with media activists
and community organizers was a decision to join forces with the growing
number of people in Latin America who see radio as the preferred medium
by which to educate, organize and voice their concerns, both local and
global. Toward that end, we need to:
- Raise money to put as many broadcast stations on the air as possible
- Increase the number of people who have access to broadcast equipment
- Open regional facilities where people can build, test and repair
their own transmitter.
- Empower as many people as possible with the skills, knowledge, technology
and ability to establish their own means of communication.
- Organize a conference somewhere in the Americas to train and unite
grassroots and community radio broadcasters.
To accomplish these objectives, we need
your support and involvement in this new project. Sponsored by
Free Radio Berkeley, Project TUPA’s goal is to empower people
and communities in Latin America with the means to make their own media
and hear their own voices. Free Radio Berkeley has assisted in
the setting up of FM broadcast stations in Mexico, Haiti and other countries
For detailed information on the need for community
radio stations in Mexico, go to the documents page for a series of interviews
conducted at the Tidal Wave Media Convergence in Cancun, Mexico.
Your support and donations will enable
communities throughout the Americas to empower themselves with their
own means of communication. Click on the donation link.
All contributions are tax-deductable.
Free Radio Berkeley
1442A Walnut St., Suite 406
Berkeley, CA 94709
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