Radio Victoria in El Salvador under threat from death squad

May 23, 2011

Through Amnesty International, Protection On Line and others, the case of threatened journalists in El Salvador begs for attention.
Pablo Ayala,
 Manuel Navarte and Marixela Ramos are staff members of Radio Victoria in El Salvador, a community radio station committed to social and human rights reporting. Between 20 April and 4 May they received several messages (by letter and mostly SMS via the internet). Anonymous but indicating that the authors belong to a a “death squad” (“grupo de exterminio”)
. The message is clear:  “..from Wednesday onwards if you are at the radio station you will regret it. You have made us lose our patience, let’s see what it will take you to stop talking” or … stop that news bulletin you are the coordinator of as you also have a daughter” 

On 4 May, Radio Victoria staff held a press conference in the capital San Salvador regarding the threats they had received. A few hours later, at 20:00, Pablo Ayala and Marixela Ramos both received two text message threats: “Today you should have left like we ordered you, if you haven’t done so it is not a problem we will finish our work”.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights deemed the threat to Radio Victoria staff to be so great that it issued Precautionary Measures which required that the authorities ensure their safety. For those with further interest there is Tim’s El Salvador blog (http://luterano.blogspot.com) where you can read more about the work of Radio Victoria. There is also an online petition at Change.org which you can sign. Already in 2009 there were threats against this radio station as shown in the short film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmIVQVJlxOY

One Response to “Radio Victoria in El Salvador under threat from death squad”

  1. Alexandra Bisia Says:

    This is shocking. The direct quotations from the SMS’s are incredible. I really didn’t think this could actually happen in real life. I mean, it sounds like a thriller. It’s terrible.


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