In Guatemala, a country where twenty-three indigenous languages are spoken, the official media transmits in one language, Spanish. An oligarchy monopolizes the mass media and restricts freedom of expression by auctioning radio waves at rates that only the extremely wealthy can afford. In a country where a significant percentage of the population is illiterate, radio remains a vital medium. Since the civil war’s conclusion in 1996 community leaders have united to form stations where news, educational programming and traditional music are broadcast in the local languages. Yet because these stations pirate the waves, they are considered illegal. Officials may confiscate their transmitters and cease operations at any moment, and often do. For many years the movement leaders have fought for recognition and representation. Today, their fight continues. Over the course of a few months my collaborators and I worked intimately with radio stations in the rural highlands to produce short television spots, destined for an urban, Spanish-speaking viewership. Our aim is twofold: To inform Guatemalans of the issues and to convince them to take action. In this video we focus on the fight for indigenous rights.
In Spanish and Mam with English subtitles.
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