Community Radio Activists recognised as Information Heroes
Chilean Maria Pia Matta, President of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters AMARC and Mireya Manquepillán Mapuche radio broadcaster have been included in the list of “100 Information Heroes”. Endowed with exemplary courage, these “100 heroes” have been nominated for their struggle and contribution to the promotion of the right to communicate as defined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that reads “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” The “100 heroes” put their ideals “towards the promotion of the common good and as such they are a role model to follow.
Maria Pia Matta has extensive experience in promoting and defending freedom of expression in Chile, Latin America and the world and through her work in AMARC she has brought to the fore the social role of community radio in the fulfilment of citizens’ freedom of expression. She led the first observation visit to Mapuche radios and media, which resulted in a set of recommendations by the UN Commission for Racial elimination CERD; also, her work has ensured the Chilean establishment acknowledgement of the role of radio in language revival and in turn the end of the criminalisation of unlicensed community radio. In this RSF also the figure of Mireya Manquepillán for his work at radio Kimche Mapu in the commune of Lanco.
The list of Reporters Without Borders is an acknowledgment and a tribute not only to the 100 people named, famous or unknown, but all journalists, whether or not paid by their work, who daily contribute to enlighten the world and account of reality in all its forms. This initiative aims to demonstrate that the struggle to defend and promote freedom of information goes through intensive support to victims of abuse, but also to erect figures that can serve as reference.