January 6, 2010
Today, early this morning, the Faluma Bimetu community radio was the victim of an attack carried out by unknown authors who set fire to the room where the community radio was installed.
Faluma Bimetu has been around for more than a decade, during which it has focused on strengthening Garifuna culture, as well as participating in the creation of an early alert system, programs concerning HIV/AIDS, and providing general information that goes beyond the habitual distortion that is normally promoted by mass media.
The Garifuna community radios fulfill a social function without any profit motive, especially Faluma Bimetu, which has been transmiting in an area that has been converted into a highly conflictive region by the powerful Honduran elites, because of the interest that financial groups have in displacing the Garifuna communities to use our beaches for their tourism projects.
In recent years, the Municipality of Tela has divided the community by way of a parallel Community Council (“Patronato,” the State-recognized form of local government) that favours the interests of tourism businesspeople. The Faluma Bimetu radio has been one of the champions of the defense of ancestral territory.
Eyewitnesses to the attack report that the humble building where the radio was housed has been destroyed, and that equipment has been lost. This incident is an enormous loss for the community of Triunfo and for the Garifuna people in general.
Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras, OFRANEH
Tel. (504) 442-0618, (504) 450-0058
Av 14 julio, calle 19, Contiguo Vivero Flor Tropical, Barrio Alvarado, La Ceiba, Honduras