Guerrero: Prison sentence for David Valtierra, founder of Radio Nomnda

November 19, 2009

radio no

On November 12 David Valtierra Arango, one of the founders of the community radio station Nomndaa (The Word of Water), was handed down a prison sentence. Valtierra had been accused of wrongfully depriving Ariosta Rocha of his freedom. Rocha is the brother of Aceadeth Rocha Ramirez, a local PRI deputy and the ex-mayor of the municipality of Xochistlahuaca.

Since November 5 David Valtierra had reported that there was an arrest warrant against him, as well as 30 Amuzgo indigenous people, all for the same reason.

Since 2002 the people of Xochistlahuaca have organized their own autonomous government, put in place to maintain their own customs and traditions. They accused then-mayor Aceadeth Rocha of the misuse of funds. Two years later, in December 2004, the community radio project “The Word of the Water” began transmitting in the Amuzgo language – the first of its kind in Guerrero. Since that time, founders of the radio station like David Valtierra have had to face persecution and harassment from state and federal officials.

The Montana Tlachinollan Human Rights Center emphasized the following: “Aceadeth Rocha has played an important role in this climate of repression by starting a pirate radio station without any trouble (and with the backing of the Guerrero government) with the clear intention of blocking the Radio Nomndaa signal.” Tlachinollan denounced the arrest of David Valtierra as “an attack against freedom of expression. This is evidence of a government that uses the justice system to knock down whoever is fighting for indigenous people and the political opposition. The investigation against David Valtierra and the members of the Xochistlahuaca Community Front are supported by proof that is fabricated, inconsistent and tainted from the beginning. All of which points to this as an act criminalization of human rights defenders.”

For more information:

– Dictan auto de formal prisión a fundador de la radio comunitaria Ñomndaa (Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan)

– Formal prisión a fundador de radio indígena (La Jornada, 13 de noviembre)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Xochistlahuaca (Website)

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