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Mexico10 February 2003

Radio programme discriminated against in allocation of government advertising

RSF has expressed concern over the alleged discriminatory use of government advertising by Governor Antonio Echevarría Dominguez, of Nayarit state, western Mexico. The governor is accused of censoring the Radio Korita programme "Consensos", which is critical of his administration. In a letter to the governor, RSF asked him to respond to allegations to this effect by "Consensos" host José Espinoza Vargas. The organisation recalled that according to Principle 13 of the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression, of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, "the arbitrary and discriminatory placement of official advertising and government loans (.) threaten freedom of expression and must be explicitly prohibited by law."

Radio Korita broadcasts out of the city of Tepic. On 31 January 2003, the radio station’s signal was cut just as the "Consensos" programme was scheduled to go on air. According to Espinoza Vargas, Radio Korita manager Jorge Mondragón Santoyo explained that he was following "the governor’s orders" and that this was "a condition for the renewal of a year’s worth of advertising." Espinoza Vargas notes that Nayarit state officials have in the past attempted to have his programme taken off the air. In recent weeks, Espinoza Vargas had reported on fraud in the housing authorities’ administration of public markets.

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