Bolivia removes Telesur from the public signal

Relatives of those who died during the riots in the Bolivian city of El Alto attend the wake this Wednesday for the victims in the San Francisco de Asis parish, in the city of El Alto, (Bolivia). The events occurred on Tuesday when a squad made up of the military and police sought to unlock a fuel distribution plant in the Senkata area of ​​El Alto. The Ombudsman’s Office reported on its website that four of the fatal victims have not been identified while the other two are 38 and 31-year-old men, all allegedly protesters calling for the resignation of the interim president, Jeanine Añez, and the return to the country of Evo Morales. EFE / Rodrigo Sura

The president of the multistate channel Telesur, Patricia villegas, described this Friday as “censorship” the suspension of its signal in the public National Telecommunications Company (Entel) in Bolivia and asked the teleoperator to “back down.”

In a telephone conversation with Efe, Villegas indicated that in his contacts with Entel the channel’s representatives have requested that he “reverse his determination to terminate the contract with Telesur”, since in his opinion “there is no reason” for that measure.

«In the particular case of Bolivia, we are saying that in this context delete any channel can not be understood in any other way than censorship and we are asking that people have the right to plural information, “he said.

In several cities of Bolivia there are mobilizations of supporters and detractors of Evo Morales, after he left the country on November 11 after the Armed Forces forced him to leave office and received asylum in Mexico.

Morales’ resignation has been described as a “coup” by several Latin American governments and politicians linked to Cuba and Venezuela. Other countries have recognized the interim Executive of Jeanine Áñez, while part of the international community has urged dialogue without commenting on the political crisis.

Villegas said that when Telesur went off the air on Monday, Entel representatives attributed the situation to “technical problems” in relaying the signal, but at the insistence of the channel’s representatives this Thursday they received a letter terminating the contract.

Villegas highlighted the request of the special rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Edison Lanza, who affirmed on Twitter this Thursday, regarding the case, that the State “must be neutral before the editorial means and not restrict the freedom of information by indirect means ”.

“We are hoping that, according to the visit of the Commission, we can really reverse that decision on the distribution of the Telesur signal,” Villegas said.

Telesur is a multi-state channel founded 14 years ago that has the participation of Nicaragua, Bolivia, Uruguay, Cuba and Venezuela.

Asked about the presence of Telesur in other operators that broadcast in Bolivia, Villegas indicated that beyond user reports it has been difficult for them to corroborate the information.

The multistate channel, he said, has a “very important” distribution in Bolivia where it is broadcast through regional and national operators, as well as at universities in various parts of the country.

Villegas pointed out that the situation in Bolivia is similar to what happened in Ecuador, although in that case they received “no reason, written or verbal” and neither were they treated by the authorities. EFE

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