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Radio station pulls environmental programme off the air

(OLA/IFEX) - The radio program "Horizonte Sur", which aired on Sundays from 11 am to noon on National Radio AM 870, was cancelled on 2 February 2010. The program was hosted by journalist Jorge Eduardo Rulli and the Rural Reflection Group.

Rulli said that the Vicente Muleiro, the deputy manager for National Radio AM 870, told him over the phone that his program was being taken off the air. He says Muleiro told him, "We're tired of your criticisms" and "This past program was your last one."

On 4 February, Rulli sent a letter to the station's management seeking clarification of what Muleiro had told him. In the letter, Rulli said that he considered the program's cancellation to be a "flagrant irregularity" and "a violation of freedom of expression and freedom of the press," and that decisions made by the appropriate authority should be "put down in writing, signed and communicated properly."

Rulli also said that the criticisms that Muleiro complained about came from the program's listeners and fall under the umbrella of freedom of expression, and as such, they must be respected. "National Radio is a public radio; it isn't the mouthpiece of the ruling party. It should reflect a diversity of opinions, not a single opinion."

In the five years that the program has been on the air, Rulli and the other members of Rural Reflection Group raised awareness about the local farming crisis and the dangers of producing and consuming genetically modified organisms.

Rulli is also an ecologist and expert in sustainable development. He is one of the founders of the Rural Reflection Group, which started the campaign against genetically modified crops.

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