El Carabobeno’s article takes its cue from a tweet by Espacio Publico, an organization fighting for press freedom

The census of Venezuelan stations closed in the last three months continues. On 14 September 2022, Conatel officials targeted radio stations in Cumaná, in the state of Sucre, where five stations were silenced. The stations are: 89.7 Radio Boom; 95.1 Mágica FM; 100.9 Café FM “Con aroma de café!”; 101.3 Cool FM “La emisora entretenida”; 102.1 NVH Radio. But there is also a tweet from the SNTP journalists’ union, the primary source of information on the closures, where it turns out that another radio station, switched off on the same day, has to be added to these. It is 107.9 Centeno FM.
20 September 2022: three stations in Cabimas, in the state of Zulia, are targeted: 92.7 Éxitosa FM; 93.5 Suprema FM (Christian station); 98.5 Jerusalén Stereo FM.

October is no different

The tweet of the National Union of Press Workers with the news of the closures

3 October 2022. Conatel forced 107.7 Sonora to take off air the opinion programme ‘Frente al Paredón‘, a radio station with 42 years of consecutive broadcasts, by journalist Moisés Reyes. In Yaracuy, three more stations closed in early October: 102.9 Luz, 90.3 Oasis and El Trocadero, and Cuarto Angel 106.3.

The closures in Cabimas announced by Espacio Público (Espacio Público aims to promote and defend human rights, in particular, freedom of expression)

On the same day, Conatel started a document review process for the station Super 101.5 FM, based in Ocumare del Tuy, Miranda state. Three days later the station decided to switch off to avoid sanctions. Their lawyer, José Luis Azuaje, pointed out that the station had complied with all Conatel’s requirements, but had been waiting for an answer on its concession for at least seven years.

SNTP’s tweet announcing that Conatel closed two radio stations on 14 October because the concession would expire

14 October: 105.3 FM and 91.5 Play Top, both from the Unión Radio circuit in Valencia, in the state of Carabobo. In Yaracuy FM 106.3 in Nazareth, in the municipality of Nirgua.
18 October: Bahía 102.5 FM, in Cumaná, in Sucre.
19 October: Sur del Lago Stereos 91.9, Somos 95.5 and Gustosa 98.7.
20 October: 88.3 Fantástica, 99.9 Piragua and 102.9 Zulianísima. They operated in the municipality of Colón, Santa Bárbara de Zulia.
21 October: Catholic radio station Radio Paz 103.1 FM, which belonged to the diocesan curia (in the state of Portuguesa, centre of the country).

Twitter news about the eight closures for ‘expired concession’ posted the next day by the SNTP union

22 October: Villa 103.5 FM, a community station in the municipality of Gómez, in the state of Nueva Esparta, that has been operating for some 15 years.
On the same day, eight radio stations were closed in Rubio, Junín municipality, Táchira state, on orders from Conatel, on the grounds that they were not authorized:
88.3 Somos
89.9 La Nuestra
90.3 Café
92.5 Pontálida
93.1 Activación Stereo
95.7 Explosión Stereo
98.1 Esperanza Viva
102.3 Ángel

It is not easy to follow the situation even for the union, which after announcing the closure of Radio Paz on 21 October, gave further confirmation on 27 October

Six radio stations were closed on 27 October 2022 in Coro, Falcón State. In a phone call to administrators, Conatel ordered the removal of Falconiana 102.7, Corianísima 90.1, Top 97.1, Guadalupana 105.1, Fiesta 106.5, and Metrópolis 88.1.
28 October: Éxitos 99.1 FM in Valencia in the state of Carabobo. It also ordered the closure of Platinium 88.1 FM, Innovación Panamericana Stereo 98.3 FM, and Alegría 104.9 FM, in the Panamericano municipality of Táchira state. Three radio stations were closed in Ciudad Ojeda on Conatel’s instructions: Melódica 92.3 FM (one year on the air), Mágica 93.3 FM (15 years on the air), and Ke Buena 101.1 FM (6 years on the air).

SNTP flash warning of a flurry of closures in Colima

Between 20 and 27 October, eight radio stations were closed in Colina municipality, Falcón state:
91.3 Beraka
92.7 Occidente
93.9 Fredmedical
95.9 Precursora
96.9 Carubarigua
97.6 Misionera
99.1 Centinela

105.5 Tricolor

30 October 202: closed Emisora Cultural de Coro 97.5 FM (25 years on air).
(Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini)


In Venezuela, one hundred radio stations are closedby the regime
Cronica Uno devoted an extensive article to the closures, collecting some statements from the directors of the shut-down stations

The closure of “troublesome” broadcasters continues, with the usual suspension orders sent by Conatel (National Telecommunications Commission), which has been very active in recent months. The script is the same: the broadcaster is ordered to close down for failing to comply with legal procedures, says Leonardo Pérez, national secretary of the National College of Journalists in the state of Zulia, and because they have usurped space occupied by other stations that broadcast legally. But, in reality, the objections seem to be made for no apparent reason. The climate of intimidation is such that some radio stations close as soon as they receive a phone call from Conatel. There are now a hundred of them. Here is a chronicle of the last two months.

Black September

The first round of closures is announced by several newspapers. Here is the tweet from Espacio Publico, a Civil Association that promotes and defends the liberty of expression, the right to information, and social responsibility in media

On 6 September 2022, the first eleven stations between Maracaibo and San Francisco were shut down. About a hundred people are left without work, estimates by the National Press Workers’ Union (SNTP). Two days later (Thursday 8 September), two more stations have to leave the airwaves. Here is a summary of the deactivated stations:
88.3 Candela FM
88.5 Sensacional Estereo “La FM de las estressas”
91.3 Zulia Mía “La señal de los zulianos!”
92.9 Kp Radio “La gigante del Zulia!!
94.3 Refugio FM
97.3 Palabra FM
98.1 High Class “Somos la #1 en gaitas”
98.3 Destino FM
103.3 Radiolandia
102.7 Suave FM
107.7 Río Stereo
(Written by Fabrizio Carnevalini)


One of the tweets with which the Venezuelan Press Syndicate denounced the closure of broadcasters in the state of Cojedes

The Venezuelan regime of President Nicolás Maduro hardly makes headlines when it shuts down inconvenient stations. The Web documents deactivations on an almost monthly basis, but in July 2022 Conatel (Comisión Nacional de Telecomunicaciones) officials worked overtime shutting down as many as six stations in Cojedes state. The raid always occurs on Fridays: July 1, 15 and 29, 2022. First to pay the price was Candela 92.9 FM in San Carlos, where officials (apparently entered without a warrant to check the regularity of the license, along with two prosecutors, intelligence officers and national police) seized the transmitter and mixer, leaving ten people out of work. Same script on July 15, when members of the Bolivarian National Guard, shut down Moda 105.1 FM, NEX 100FM and Hits 92.5 FM, all from San Carlos (another 30 workers on the street). The last to receive a visit from Conatel officials were Luna 95.5 FM (Mango Redondo) and Impacto 91.7 FM (San Carlos). A total of sixty workers on the street. Twelve stations were closed in 2022.

More details can be found in the IPYS article.


The La Patilla news agency reported on the closure of the two radio stations and the reactions of the opposition
The La Patilla news agency reported on the closure of the two radio stations and the reactions of the opposition

President Nicolás Maduro Moros continues to get tough on non-aligned radio stations. Two important stations in San Juan de Los Morros, fifty kilometres southwest of Caracas in the state of Guárico, are the latest to suffer. Radio Éxitos had been on the air on 90.5 MHz for 20 years (it was part of the Unión Radio Éxitos circuit), while Calle FM, on 98.5, had exceeded 40 years of activity (the channel was taken over by Play Top Radio). Both radio stations were stripped of their licences by Conatel (National Telecommunications Commission). Also, both radio stations were critical of regional and national government policies, but Anderson Tovar, opposition political leader in the state of Guárico, called the closure illegal.


Radio Sutatenza: a cultural revolution in the Colombian countryside
An image from the video presentation of the exhibition made on behalf of the Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia), which sponsored the event

Radio Sutatenza: a cultural revolution in the Colombian countryside (1947 – 1994)” is an exhibition that reconstructs the history of the famous radio station, which sought to reduce the abysmal distances between the quality of rural and urban life through education in the basics and at a distance. Managed by the Acción Cultural Popular (Acpo), an educational company of Catholic extraction, it used an educational method that combined communication technologies with a model of Comprehensive Fundamental Education (Efi), seeking to generate social change. In forty years, working with public and private entities, Acpo has created a network of educational media in more than nine hundred Colombian municipalities.

An evergreen slogan

Also from the institutional video, other archive images taken from the broadcaster’s historical archive

Education makes us freewas the slogan used to invite the peasants to participate in the radio movement and to practice independently. The success of Radio Sutatenza stemmed from the fact that teaching entered the homes of thousands of peasants, many of whom set up radio schools in their homes to welcome those approaching learning for the first time, to meet their neighbours, but also to listen to entertainment programmes. The travelling exhibition has been taken to different cities in Colombia for several years. Videos are available on YouTube and several images of the exhibition can be found on the website of Studio Machete, which designed the exhibition layout.


In the report dedicated by El Pais to the station’s closure, a photo of the staff following the Montevideo carnival was published.

While at the end of 2020 the Uruguayan government had averted the closure of Radio Clarín, the historic broadcaster of tango, folklore and typical Uruguayan music, Radio Ciudad de Montevideo did not make it. The historic station (which has been on the air since 1930 on 1370 kHz on medium waves) was nicknamed ‘La 42‘ because of the identification code CX42 assigned to it (a code of letters and numbers, also known as “call sign”, inherited from the days of the telegraph, which in many countries of the American continent is attributed to authorised radio stations). Several burglaries to the transmission system brought the station to its knees, making the crisis irreversible. Programming ranged from tropical music to sports and summer theatre, and for 43 years the radio followed the Montevideo carnival.


Brazil's Ministério das Comunicações (Ministry of Communications) has accepted a request from the Abert broadcasters' association to be able to reduce broadcasting power during peak viewing hours to reduce cost
Brazil’s Ministério das Comunicações (Ministry of Communications) has accepted a request from the Abert broadcasters’ association to be able to reduce broadcasting power during peak viewing hours to reduce cost

The economic crisis triggered by the pandemic (over 600,000 people have died in the South American country) has brought many broadcasters to their knees, and they have asked to reduce their transmission power in order to cut operating costs. So the Ministry of Communications has allowed radio and TV broadcasters to reduce their authorised watts by up to 30% for six months, at times when the audience is less busy. The president of the Brazilian Association of Broadcasters (Abert), Flávio Lara Resende, was satisfied and said ‘by accepting the sector’s request, the Mcom is showing itself sensitive to the moment of a financial crisis that the private sector is going through, driven by the coronavirus pandemic‘.

PERU: Penalties also apply to those who advertise on unlicensed radio stations

Penalties also apply to those who advertise on unlicensed radio stations in Peru
Some pictures of the deactivations recently carried out by the Peruvian Ministry of Transport and Communications have appeared on the institutional website of the MTC, together with a review of the inspection activity

Despite risking imprisonment of up to six years and a fine of up to US$54,000 for what the law calls “aggravated theft of the radio spectrum,” illegal stations proliferate in Peru, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) is working hard to disable them. In the last five years, the MTC has filed 910 criminal complaints, made 714 precautionary seizures and seized more than 2300 pieces of equipment. Improper use of radio signals also degrades the quality of services received by citizens, and interference with aeronautical communications can create dangerous situations. And it is not only broadcasters who risk penalties, but also advertisers: airing commercials on an abusive station is a serious administrative offense, and the fine ranges from $11,000 to $32,000.

BRAZIL: FM tuner mandatory on mobile phones

FM tuner mandatory on mobile phones in Brazil
Communications Minister Fábio Faria claims that around 90 % of mobile phones sold in the country have an FM tuner, but the function is disabled for commercial reasons

From 1 June 2021, mobile phones manufactured in the South American country must integrate FM radio, to allow those in areas not served by the internet to get information for free. The government sees this as an opportunity for those who live far from large urban centres, where the mobile network signal is weak and FM stations are well received. As many as 40 million Brazilians do not have access to the internet, but almost all of them have a mobile phone. Smartphones will have to allow listening from 76.1 to 108 MHz: in the South American country, in fact, the FM band has been extended since 2013 to allow AM stations to move to FM (1720 broadcasters out of 1781 operating on AM have requested this, but feasibility analyses are delayed).

PERU: 65 new radio stations in rural areas

65 new radios in rural areas of Peru
In Peru, there were many short and medium wave radio stations, but now new FM radio stations are being opened in rural areas

While in Europe people are thinking about digital radio and turning off FM, in South America, broadcasting in frequency modulation (FM) is still alive and well. In Peru, the MTC (Ministerio de Transportes y Telecomunicaciones) is promoting the opening of new FM stations in rural areas. In May, it assigned 54 frequencies in 17 locations in the regions of Áncash, Apurímac, Cajamarca, Cusco, Huancavelica, Junín, La Libertad, Piura, San Martín and Ucayali. These will benefit 607,000 inhabitants. Two localities, Pueblo Libre (Áncash) and Pacaipampa (Piura) will open their first ever FM radio station. On June 2, 2021, it was the turn of another 11 channels in the regions of Arequipa, Apurímac, Ayacucho, Puno y Madre de Dios. In all the concerned locations, FM was “virgin”: Tarucani de Arequipa (2 frequencies), Andarapa de Apurímac (1), Socos de Ayacucho (2), Copani de Puno (2), Tocota de Arequipa (3) and Nueva Arequipa de Madre de Dios (1).

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