The Guardian 9 November, 2005

Telesur begins transmissions in Bolivia

The Latin American TV channel Telesur initiated broadcasts in Bolivia at the end of October. The launching was attended by numerous popular leaders, diplomats and other personages from Latin American countries.

Telesur is being shown in 15 countries through 53 cable services, as well as five free stations.

Freddy Morales, Telesur press correspondent in Bolivia, said that Telesur´s signal can be seen in the interior of Bolivia, and mentioned the mining community of Llallagua, historically a rebellious locality.

Telesur has contracted its services to La Paz University and other Bolivian channels and is negotiating with a State-owned national TV station.

Telesur is promoted by Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay and Cuba and will champion greater Latin American integration. The beginning of transmissions was a decisive step for construction of a different and integrated America.

Telesur is financed mainly by Venezuela with help from Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay. It began with top stories on political tensions in Bolivia and Chávez's predictions of a hearty debate over US-style capitalism at last week's Summit of the Americas in Argentina.

One news anchor proclaimed it "a great day for Telesur", which has been running taped programs and limited news segments since its July 24 launch.

The station promises to be a Latin alternative to large media conglomerates like CNN, and has taken on the slogan "News from the South".

"I think it's easier to do independent journalism with a station like this than with a private station", said Jorge Botero, Telesur's Colombian news director. "There are too many interests in the private channels that impede independent journalism. Despite the fact this channel has funds from various governments, we haven't been pressured at all."

The station is carrying public service announcements and musical interludes instead of commercials. It has 12 correspondents in bureaus in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico and the United States.

Back to index page