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Feb 14, 2014

The Radio as a Tool to Defend Rights

Tarcila Rivera Zea is an inspiring activist for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and President of MADRE’s Peruvian sister organization CHIRAPAQ.

Just this week, she sat down with Natalia Caruso, MADRE’s Program Director, to discuss the future of the Sapinchikmanta (Voices for Justice) Radio Project.

Tarcila reminded us of the importance of finding a way to communicate. Indigenous communities are often not represented in mainstream Peruvian media, and Indigenous women are especially marginalized.

The Sapinchikmanta community radio series is, as Tarcila explains, the “main medium of communication through which Indigenous women who speak Quechua can express themselves to their sisters in the region.”

She went on to say, “The content of this series combines practical and important information on women’s rights and the right to live free of violence, as well as music and songs from their own culture and their own language.” The radio series has acquired a large following of listeners who rely on the program as their principal source of information.

Thank you for your generous support of this project! Not only can CHIRAPAQ continue to host the Sapinchikmanta series, but they also offer training to Indigenous broadcasters. Program participants continue to advocate for their collective rights and for more culturally diverse national radio programming, including programs with a gender focus.

As the President of the Ayacucho Network of Quechua Indigenous Communicators, of which CHIRAPAQ is a member, stated, “When we use the microphone, we are making use of a power to express ourselves and we do it collectively, using the radio as a tool to defend our rights.”

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Yifat Susskind

New York, New York United States

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