Venezuela’s National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) this week ordered the closure of 15 radio stations operating in the country’s three border states, according to a report from the National Union of News Workers (SNTP) updated on Saturday.
Eight stations in Tachira state (bordering Colombia) were closed by order of Gonadel due to incompetence, the union said in a message on Twitter, which it criticized as an “arbitrary move”. .
With these closures, according to the organization, 70% of broadcasters in the city of Rubio are prevented from broadcasting and “guarantees for the exercise of freedom of expression and access to information are even weaker”.
“We demand fair conditions and procedures for availing benefits and qualifications,” the message added. On Friday, the union announced the closure of six more stations in the state of Julia, bordering Colombia, which happened “within 24 hours”.
“There are already 15 suspended stations in Julia between September and October,” SNTP recalled. In addition, last Tuesday, Conadell closed a radio station in the state of Sucre, which faces the Caribbean Sea, according to a group of press staff.
Between September and October, SNTP documented the closure of eight stations along that coast. Last week, the National College of Journalists (CNP) condemned the closure of 46 radio stations in seven states of the country that were on the air in the last four months by the telecom regulator.
The Secretary General of the CNP, Delvalle Canelón, explained to EFE that since last July these closures have been carried out by Conatel, which not only orders the stations to go offline, but also “takes over the transmission equipment” of these sites. It was described as “theft”.
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