Peru: “Rashomon at Radio Orion”

YouTube: El caso de radio Orión y el rumor: The YouTube site of the government news agency, Agencia Peru, charges that a local radio and TV station in Pisco has been waxing hysterical and broadcasting disinformation.

According to a report from Medios Latinos, the government has raided the broadcaster, confiscated its equipment, and shut it down.

File under “disaster capitalism, cases to consider” and “fear and misinformation abound (David Sasaki-style).”

Hace poco más de una semana, un grupo de damnificados en Pisco empezó a dar crédito a un rumor que señalaba que el terremoto que los había embestido fue en realidad de 8.4 grados, y que el gobierno se los estaba ocultando para no pagarles la indemnización de 50 mil dólares que manda a ley. La información se había repetido varias veces a través de una radio pisqueña, hasta parecer una verdad.

A little over a week ago [this was posted three days ago, according to YouTube –Ed. ], a group of persons who suffered damages from the earthquake in Pisco began to believe in a rumor to the effect that the earthquake had actually measured 8.4 on the Richter scale and that the government was covering up that fact in order to avoid paying them the $50,000 required by law. The information was repeated a number of times on a Pisco radio station until it seemed to be true.

The BBC did report at the time, however, that Peruvian scientists had underreported the magnitude of the quake:

It had a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale and its epicentre was in the Pacific Ocean close to the Peruvian coast, according to the US National Earthquake Information Centre in Golden, Colorado. The Peruvian Geophysical Institute, however, reported that the tremor measured 6.9 and that the epicentre was some 80km inland.

So I suppose one logical possibility might be that some news media exaggerated the degree to which government sources underreported the intensity of the quake?

But who knows? Bearings checking into. Which I will do as time permits.

In the meantime, the newsflow.

El rumor, que se había convertido en noticia (aunque ahora su dueño lo niegue), se regó a través de radio y televisión Orión, de Pisco, que le pertenece a Eloy Yong Meza. Reportaje de Marco Antonio Vásquez.

The rumor, which had been transformed into “news” (although its owner denies this), was cultivated by Orion radio and TV of Pisco, which belongs to Eloy Yong Meza. The report is by Marco Antonio Vázquez.

Above: TV Orión rails against the government’s inadequate response, as it says.

He charges that aid donations are going into the pockets of government officials.

Here is a blog posting on the story, from what looks like a local tourist board in Ica, along with a rebuttal left in the comment thread.

El martes la VENTANA INDISCRETA de Cecilia Valenzuela, pasó un reportaje sobre el ” 8.4 del terremoto en Pisco” en donde se preguntaba de donde salió esa versión del 8.4. Todos sindicaban haber escuchado la noticia del 8.4 magnitud del terremoto en la radioemisora y canal de tv. de de Eloy Jhon [sic]. Esta versión descabellada creó falsas espectativas en la población pisqueña que sufre la terrible sécuela del terremoto de 15 de agosto. Tambien Raúl Anicama el brigadista de Pisco, habló sobre el 8.4 en el programa El Francotirador.

On Tuesday on Cecilia Valenzuela’s show, they showed a report on the “8.4 earthquake in Pisco” in which it was asked where this version of 8.4 came from. Everyone testifies to having heard the 8.4 version on the radio and TV channel of Eloy Yong.

Everyone who?

This baseless report created false expectations among Pisco residents who are suffering from the terrible aftermath of the August 15 earthquake. Raúl Anicama also mentioned 8.4 on this program “The Sniper.”

El reportaje de la VENTANA INDISCRETA conversa con el mencionado Eloy Meza de donde se desprende, el poco aprecio que le tiene a la población de su tierra y escaza bagaje periodistico para asumir la responsabilidad de orientar.Fue de verguenza y rídiculo que un hombre de prensa respondiera tan burdamente sobre, la fuente de información del 8.4 de magnitud.

The report on Valenzuela’s show interviews said Eloy Meza, during which he displays the low esteem in which he holds his fellow countrymen and his scant journalistic courage to assume the responsibility of orienting them. It was shameful and ridiculous that a journalist would answer so rudely on the source of the information about the 8.4 magnitude.

Y sobre las licencias, mismo Cantinflas dió su versión de risa.Este mismo señor, pretendió ser Alcalde de Pisco en 2 ocasiones con resultados fallidos, gracias a Dios.

On the matter of the licenses, even Cantinflas would laugh at his version. This same gentleman tried to become mayor of Pisco twice, but failed, thank God.

Preguntamos ¿quién sanciona a este incitador de la violencia? ¿El Colegio de Periodistas?.El Ministerio Publico investiga por presión de Jorge del Castillo

We ask, Who will punish this inciter to violence? The College of Journalists? The public prosecutor is investigating under pressure from prime minister Jorge del Castillo.

Con mayor ilustración los invito a mas detalles en el fondo del vaso mas video del distraido e inefable Eloy Yong Meza.

As the best illustration I invite you to get more details in the video looking glass of the distraught and inscrutable Eloy Yong Meza.

A “distraught and inscrutable” (“ineffable”) Peruvian-Asian TV talking head?

Tambien comenta :“Irresponsabilidad en el aire” -hoy jueves en Correo de Ica- sobre este caso Gastón Medina.

Also commenting on this case is Gastón Medina, in the Ica Courier, with “Irresponsibility on the air.”

A rebuttal from the blog comments thread:

bernardo dijo… quien les habla es un pisqueño de nacimiento estoy muy dolido por lo que atraviesa mi pueblo pero ala ves muy humillado por la cosas que se publican contra el doctor ELOY YONG MEZA esa persona q untedes publican que es una verguenza.El esla unica que se enfrenta al gobieno cruel con la verdad y no teme decir loq en realidad sucede ; no como otros medios q solo tratan de mostrar lo que les conviene. medios bendidos con temor a este gobierno aprista q solo no llevara al caos y al abandono .Es es muy desalentador q ni en untedes se pueden respaldar los pobladores de pisco.

Bernardo wrote: I am a Pisco native I am pained at what my people are going through but also humiliated by the things published against ELOY YONG MEZA this person you people published is shameful. He is the only one confronting the cruel government with the truth and is not afraid to say what really goes on; not like the other media who only show what suits them. News media that fear this APRA government which only led [us] into chaos and neglect. It is very disheartening that you cannot support the people of Pisco.

Reporting and a round-up of other coverage by Medios Latinos:

El propietario de Radio Televisión Orión de Pisco, Perú, Eloy Yong Meza, denunció al gobierno del presidente Alan García por la clausura de su emisora y la incautación de sus equipos de transmisión. Yong Meza había sido denunciado judicialmente por el presidente del Consejo de Ministros, Jorge del Castillo, “por utilizar su emisora para promover desórdenes” entre la población damnificada por el terremoto del 15 de agosto. Además de confiscarle los equipos y clausurar el medio, Yong Meza manifestó que fue maltratado por la policía. Por su parte, del Castillo calificó como “absolutamente legítimo” el cierre de la radio, y que se desarrolló de manera legal y por orden del juez de turno. Información publicada por los diarios El Comercio (Perú) y ABC (Paraguay).

The owner of Orion Radio-TV of Pisco, Peru, Eloy Yong Meza, accused the Garcia government of closing down his operation and seizing his equiopment. Yong had been formally charged by the president of the cabinet, Jorge del Castillo, of “using his broadcast facilities to promote disorder” among people affected by the August 15 earthquake. Besides confiscating his equipment and shutting him down, Yong says he was abused by police. For his part, Castillo said the closure was “absolutely legitimate” and carried out in a legal manner, based on a judicial order from a judge who was on duty in normal rotation. The information was published by El Comercio in Peru and ABC in Paraguay.

First, El Comercio, reproduced on the ML Web site:

El fiscal provincial penal de turno de Pisco, Iván Miranda, con apoyo de un contingente policial, acudió a las 00:30 a.m. de ayer al local donde operaba Radio y Televisión Orión para decomisar los equipos de dicha empresa. Lo hizo en cumplimiento de la Resolución Viceministerial 554, emitida el 3 de este mes, por la cual se dejó sin efecto la autorización de funcionamiento de dicha emisora para prestar el servicio de radiodifusión sonora comercial en frecuencia modulada en el distrito y provincia de Pisco. La intervención fiscal se realizó diez días después de emitida la resolución y duró veinte minutos, tiempo en el que se incautaron los equipos de transmisión, aunque, según Celia Anicama, esposa de Eloy Yong Meza, propietario de la radioemisora, los efectivos se llevaron los equipos de transmisión de la televisora, que también opera en dicho local, así como consolas, micrófonos, cámaras fotográficas, un DVD, celulares y equipos de sonido. Además, dijo, tanto ella como Yong fueron golpeados e insultados por los agentes del orden.

The criminal magistrate on duty, Ivan Miranda, backed by police contingent, arrived at the location where Orion operated at 12:30 am to shut down its operations, in compliance with Vice-Ministerial Resolution No. 554, issued on September 3, which suspended the broadcaster’s commercial FM radio license for the district and province of Pisco. The legal intervention came two days after the order was handed down and took 20 minutes, during which time the transmitter was seized. However, according to Yong’s wife, Celia Anicama, the police also carried off TV transmission equipoment, along with consoles, microphones, still cameras, a DVD, cell phones and sound equiopment. Further, she said, both she and Yong were beaten and insulted by the law enforcement officers.

Sin embargo, de acuerdo con la versión del comisario de Pisco, el comandante PNP José Antonio Muñoz, fueron los propietarios de radio Orión quienes se mostraron agresivos y opusieron resistencia. Por ello, ambos fueron sujetados de los brazos para que el fiscal Miranda pudiera culminar el decomiso de los equipos.

According to the version of the regional military commander, however, José Antonio Muñóz, it was the owners who behaved aggressively and resisted the order. According to him, both were handcuffed so that Miranda could finish decommissioning the equipment.

Según Muñoz, fue el fiscal quien resultó herido, pues sufrió la mordedura de un perro de los Yong Anicama. Quisimos conocer la versión del fiscal, pero fue imposible localizarlo. De acuerdo con el comisario, el magistrado tiene una licencia médica de dos días debido a la mordedura.

According to Muñoz, it was the magistate who was wounded, bitten by the family dog. We tried to reach the judge for comment, but it was impossible to locate him. According to the military commander, the judge took a medical leave of two days because of the dog bite.

El Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones informó en un comunicado que esta acción se realizó en cumplimiento de la ley y que se contó con el apoyo de la fiscalía y la policía. Se indica en el comunicado que radio Orión operaba, pese a que su licencia había expirado.

The minister of transportation and communications, in a press release, said the action was legal and supported by the judiciary and the police. He indicated that Orion was operated despite the suspension of its license.

De otro lado, al cierre de esta edición se confirmó que el sismo que sacudió ayer Pisco alcanzó una magnitud de 4,3 grados en la escala de Richter. El temblor no produjo daños. [Editorial A4]

On the other hand, at the time this edition closed, it was confirmed that the temblor that shook Pisco reached a magnitude of 4.3 on the Richter scale. It did not produce any damage.

Say what?

Who said so?

The blogger who referred me to this story referred to the “devastating aftermath” of the quake, and I have seen Univision reporting from the scene. It looks pretty gnarly out there. No damages? Wha?

8.4?

6.9?

4.3?

I am very, very confused.

Somebody is yanking somebody’s chain, that’s for sure.

Eloy Yong se hizo conocido el sábado 8 de setiembre, luego de que un grupo de pobladores mostrara su rechazo al primer ministro Jorge del Castillo, quien ese día participó en una ceremonia en la Plaza de Armas de Pisco.

Eloy Yong gained public notoriety on Saturday, September 8, after a group of local residents demonstrated their rejection of prime minister Castillo, who was taking part in a ceremony that day at the Plaza das Armas [barracks?] in Pisco.

Los pobladores solicitaban que el Gobierno declarara que el sismo que azotó Pisco fue de 8,4 grados y no de 7,9 grados en la escala de Richter, como estableció el Instituto Geofísico del Perú.

The residents wanted the government to declare the magnitude of the quake that shook Pisco to have been 8.4 and not 7.9 on the Richter scale, as the Geophysical Institute of Peru had established.

I thought the BBC reported that the Institute had reported 6.9?

Personally, I have more faith in our good old American earthquake nerds.

Sobre Yong pesa una denuncia fiscal por los delitos contra la tranquilidad pública, la paz pública, apología del delito y otros. Las investigaciones continúan.

Yong is charged with crimes against the public order and public peace, apology for crime, and other offenses. Investigations continue.

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