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Radio and television stations destroyed by mayor's supporters

(ANP/IFEX) - On 15 November 2011, two broadcasters, a television station and a community radio station in the community of Yapacaní, in the eastern Bolivian department of Santa Cruz, were destroyed by supporters of the local mayor, David Carvajal. The actions against the stations were apparently in retaliation for an alleged smear campaign they were accused of carrying out against the mayor.

The "El Deber" newspaper, based in the city of Santa Cruz, reported that a group of residents from the community of Choré dismantled and destroyed equipment belonging to the Yapacaní community radio station and the Canal 8 television station. The executive secretary of the Santa Cruz Press Workers Federation, Roberto Carlos Hurtado, condemned the actions against the station, saying they represent an attack on human rights and democratic freedoms.

Ombudsman Hernán Cabrera expressed his disappointment over the violent actions in the midst of a battle for control of the municipality. "We condemn this type of violence," he said. Remberto Alejandro, the head of the Yapacaní Defence Committee and one of the people who led the actions against the broadcasters, said that those who oppose Mayor Carvajal only dedicate themselves to creating obstacles for development of the communities.
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