Work Brigade to rebuild and relaunch Radio Faluma Bimetu, “The First Garífuna Voice”
Encuentro for the Right to Disseminate our Voices
Triunfo de la Cruz, Honduras, February 1st through 7th
Radio Faluma Bimetu, OFRANEH, and COMPPA call for participation and support in the reconstruction and re-launching of Radio Faluma Bimetu in the Garífuna community Triunfo de la Cruz, in the Tela Bay, Honduras, during the first week of February.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 6th, the Garífuna community radio Faluma Bimetu (Sweet Coconut) based in Triunfo de la Cruz was burnt down by unknown armed individuals who proceeded to loot the station’s radio equipment. This is not the first time the radio has been attacked and its equipment stolen.
In 2002, unknown persons stole the Faluma Bimetu transmitter and other key radio equipment. The Garífuna people are in resistance to a slow process of forced assimilation into the dominant culture by proponents of the tourist industry and mass media; and subject to evictions by corrupt corporate monopolies.
Transmission of Radio Faluma Bimetu began in 1997, promoted by the Land Defense Committee of Triunfo de la Cruz (CODETT) in order to strengthen Garífuna culture and defend ancestral lands.
Triunfo de la Cruz, like other Tela Bay-Garífuna communities, has become a conflict zone since the invasion of venture capitalists, politicians, and foreign investors attempting to seize community land for the construction of mega–tourism projects. The Garífuna community radios provide a social service to the community and do not generate private profit. Transmitting from Triunfo de la Cruz, Faluma Bimetu is necessary in the fight against Honduran elite, and its attempts to displace Garífuna communities for more corporate development and tourism.
From the 1st through the 7th of February, there will be a national and international brigade for the reconstruction and re-launching of Radio Faluma Bimetu. During the week, the community, the organizations, the Network of Indigenous and Garífuna radios in Honduras and Central America and citizens of the world will gather to collectively reconstruct and reinstall the house, production and transmission cabins. We will reinstall electricity, paint the walls, remove and replace the roof, rebuild the tables, put a fence around the radio, and reinstall radio equipment (including mixers microphones, headphones, transmitters, computers, CD players, and internet, etc.)
During the same week, OFRANEH will organize accompaniment (day visits and overnight trips) with other radios of the Network of Garífuna Community Radios: Radio Durugubuti Beibei in San Juan Tela and Radio Sugua in Sambo Creek. Come with us and meet the people of OFRANEH, who use community radios and popular communications to fight against the censorship of Garífuna voices and culture.
Encuentro for the Right to Disseminate Our Voices:
On February 6th, exactly a month after Radio Faluma Bimetu was attacked, there will be an Encuentro for the right to communication and for the democratization of the media. It will take place in the same community of Triunfo de la Cruz. Participants include representatives of the Network of Indigenous and Garífuna Radios of Central America, AMARC Honduras, Central America and Latin America, ALBATV (Venezuela), Rights Action, COMPPA, OFRANEH and COPINH, among other regional, national and international organizations.
Inauguration of Faluma Bimetu:
Saturday, February 6th, Faluma Bimetu will be re–inaugurated. The inauguration will include cultural ceremonies, music, art, and declarations against the politics of marginalization and erasure.
Solidarity and Support:
We need $7,500 dollars to rebuild Faluma Bimetu and get it back on the air. Join our work party or support us with what you are able (5$ dollars and up). Raise your voice and help defend the communication rights in this effort to rebuild Radio Faluma Bimetu.
Or, send a donation directly to OFRANEH´s account in Honduras using this information:
Account No. 3100023062, Banco Atlántida, SWIFT ATTDHNTE, La Ceiba, Atlántida, Honduras C.A.
Finally, you can make a tax deductible donation by sending a check to Rights Action.
Make the check out to “Rights Action” and mail it to:
• UNITED STATES: Box 50887, Washington DC, 20091-0887
• CANADA: 552 – 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
Please write “Ofraneh-Radio” in the memo line.
For more information please consult the following links:
Antes y Después del Atentado Contra Faluma Bimetu
Before and After the Attack of Radio Faluma Bimetu
Collection of Denouncements, Audios, and Letters of Solidarity
A partial list of equipment stolen or damaged during the attack:
1 – 500 watt transmitter 1- 10 channel mixer 2- desktop computers
1- cellphone for the station
1- air conditioner
1- dvd and cd player
4- microphones (2 condensed mics and y 2 handheld mics)
2-digital voice recorders 2 – headphones
2 –portable microphones
1- building material ($500.00 corrugated metal roofing, paint, and lumber)
1- electrical wiring
As OFRANEH and COMPPA, our hearts and solidarity go out to the Haitian people. To support the many rescue and relief efforts in Haiti, visit the following pages and support their work: