On August 2, the State Telecommunications institution (Telcor) cancelled the private station’s license, alleging “technical issues”. The feminist-oriented community radio station has been operating for 18 years.
HAVANA TIMES – On September 6, the feminist community radio station “Radio Vos” denounced the confiscation of their installations in Matagalpa on the part of the Ortega regime. The assault on their property occurred one month after the station was closed by the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications (Telcor).
“In the early hours [of September 6], arbitrarily and without any prior notice, the State usurped the physical space where this community-based feminist radio station functioned. This station, born 18 years ago, has been a defender of the human rights of women, children, and adolescents,” Radio Vos indicated on their social media sites.
The post added that the media outlet was also the site of a radio school that operated “in a rented space, yet today has been expropriated with no redress.”
The station didn’t specify the individual or organization that rented that adjoining space.
“Today, once again, the right to speak out and to exist has been trampled on,” the station’s declaration continued. They highlighted, however: “They can turn off our Radio [Vos], but never our voice.”
Order to close and confiscate the station
The August 2nd order to cancel the private station’s operating license was issued by the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications (Telcor), a government agency headed by Nahima Diaz Flores, daughter of National Police head Francisco Diaz. The Diaz family is linked to the ruling couple through another daughter’s marriage to a son of Ortega and Murillo.
Radio Vos formerly broadcast at 107.1 FM, and was heard principally in the Matagalpa department, in northern Nicaragua. It was the ninth private radio station closed in this department last month.
“Beyond the frequency or physical space belonging to our beautiful historic collective, we will continue raising our voice and defending rights,” the station promised. Radio Vos can currently be heard online at www.radiovos.org.
Radio Vos is a member of the World Association of Community Radio Stations (Amarc). It was founded in 2004, with a commitment to defend the rights of Nicaraguan citizens. In 2010, the station received the “Maria Jose Bravo” prize for journalistic investigation, awarded by the Central American University’s Department of Humanities and Communications.
Nicaragua has been engulfed in a political and social crisis since April 2018 – a crisis which has worsened since the controversial elections of November 2021, in which Ortega maneuvered his reelection for a fifth term – four of them consecutive. It’s also the second term in which his wife, Rosario Murillo, is serving as the country’s vice president. The candidates that aspired to run against Ortega-Murillo in that election were imprisoned. They remain there, lacking minimum humane conditions and being held completely incommunicado.