Shots were fired with a big-calibre firearm at Radio FM Cerrillos, a local station based in San José de los Cerrillos, in the northern province of Salta, on 26 November but no one was injured although it is located in the house where station’s owner and his family live. The unidentified gunmen fled immediately after the shooting.

Luisa Tilca, the wife of owner Carlos Villanueva, was hosting the morning programme when three shots were fired at the door to the radio station and one passed within a few centimetres of her. Villanueva’s two sons, aged 17 and 18, were also present at the time of the attack.

It was the second attack on the station in three months. Villanueva’s car was sent on fire inside the house’s garage on 24 August, with one of his sons sustaining serious burns in the ensuring blaze.

The Villanueva family regards the shooting as a murder attempt but does not know the identity of either the perpetrator or instigator. “None of the radio station’s seven employees has any political or activist links,” Villanueva told Reporters Without Borders.

He acknowledged that he had sometimes been very critical of the municipal government and its mayor, Humberto Rubén Corimayo, during the past 14 months but he said he was just exercising the media’s right to inform.

After Villanueva reported the “murder attempt” to the police, Salta government Manuel Urtubey expressed his support and promised that all possible resources would be deployed to ensure that the investigation was successful. So far no suspect has been identified.

Given the previous case of violence against the station, Reporters Without Borders hopes there will be an active investigation that produces quick results.

Meanwhile, FM Nueva Generación, a community radio station in San Martín (in Buenos Aires province), has been off the air since a break-in on 18 November. Unidentified intruders forced the entrance door and removed the transmission equipment without taking anything else, the station’s coordinator, Luis Medina, told Reporters Without Borders.

The press freedom organization voices its support for the station and will help it to replace its equipment.

Source:Reporters Without Borders

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