Argentina: First-Ever Permit for Indigenous Community Radio, by Marcela Valente

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The first operating licence ever granted by the Argentine government to an indigenous community radio station is being hailed as a major step forward in giving a voice to this sector of the population, while posing formidable challenges.

The FM radio station, which has been operating without a licence for six years and has yet to be given a name, is run by the Mapuche Indian community of Linares, made up of around 700 members and located in the municipality of Aucap?n, in the southern province of Neuqu?n.

According to the 2001 census, close to four percent of Argentina’s population of 37 million are indigenous people, who belong to various ethnic groups spread throughout the country, but who share many of the same problems: land ownership struggles, unemployment, poverty, marginalisation, and the erosion of their ancestral cultural identity.

?This radio station is very useful in terms of our daily lives, and will also help to raise greater awareness of our land claims and the problems we face,? said V?ctor Altim?n, the ?lonko? (political leader) of the Linares community, in a telephone interview from Neuqu?n.
Story found here.

Source: IPS