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Ministry rejects Council of Ministers' proposal to reinstate Radio La Voz de Bagua's licence

(IPYS/IFEX) - The deputy minister of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) informed Carlos Flores, director of radio station La Voz de Bagua, that the ministry has rejected the solution presented by the Council of Ministers (PCM). The solution - which was reached by mutual accord by PCM representatives, Flores, and his defense - consisted in revoking the resolution that ordered the station's closure, so that Radio La Voz de Bagua could go back on air.

During the meeting to which Flores was summoned, which required 14 hours of travel to attend, the MTC deputy minister (Minister Enrique Cornejo did not attend) refused to accept the solution presented by the PCM, claiming that annulling or revoking a resolution issued by the MTC is not possible as it would be illegal. However, Flores's lawyers have stated on several occasions that the resolution issued by the MTC contains serious mistakes and, in contrast to the ministry's claims, can be revoked or annulled by law, a point of view shared by the PCM's advisers.

The deputy minister proposed that Flores should participate in a new bid for the assigning of frequencies in Utcubamba - the radio station's broadcasting area - offering the MTC's complete "support" and "facilities", without specifying what these consisted of. This proposal was rejected by the journalist, who considered it inappropriate and unfair.

The MTC cancelled Radio La Voz de Bagua's operating license in 2009 after accusing the station of having broadcast content that incited the public to violence in the city of Bagua on 5 June 2009. These accusations were rejected by Utcubamba's First Mixed Provincial Prosecutor's Office, which dismissed a criminal suit filed by the MTC's prosecutor.

IPYS rejects the MTC's attitude and considers it further harassment of Radio La Voz de Bagua simply for exercising its right to free expression. IPYS will continue supporting the radio station in its demands until its right to inform freely has been reinstated.

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