Bolivia: opposition radio station attacked

A dynamite charge was set off in the early hours of Dec. 18 in front of Radio Atlántica, a station owned by Guido Guardia, an opposition senator in the eastern Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, leaving a sizeable crater and causing damage to the outside of the building. The station is located in the compound where Sen. Guardia lives. Threats were made against the senator in a note left near the site of the blast.

Guardia was elected as member of the ruling Movement to Socialism (MAS) in 2006 but has since become one of its leading opponents, and has campaigned actively on his station against the pending new constitution. Guardia publicly accused Government Minister Alfredo Rada and presidential chief of staff Juan RamĂłn Quintana of masterminding the bombing, saying “they will not make me leave the senate or the country.”

Reporters Without Borders responded: “Sen. Guardia’s anger is legitimate but his accusations against the government will not help to defuse a very tense political climate that is detrimental to the press. For the moment, it is important that the competent authorities, both national and regional, should do everything possible to shed light on this bombing.”

See our last post on Bolivia.