Radio San Miguel,
Cusco (4965 kHz)
Radio San Miguel is one of the
many Peruvian stations that just couldn't care less
about international correspondence. So when I had
a chance to visit Cusco in April 2000, I just had
to visit the station, although I was so sick that
I was barely able to walk to the station.
Although difficult, I will try
to comment something without risking a libel action.
To put it briefly, despite feeling pretty very weak,
I endured nearly two hours at the station, because
they wanted to interview me not only on radio (just
like all the other stations that I visited), but
also on TV. The company has a local TV channel called
While waiting for my turn in
the limelight, watching the midday show made me
feel even worse, as I didn't expect to witness such
blatant political propaganda for Fujimori. A local
congressional candidate for the Peru 2000
alliance was interviewed with family and friends,
who along with the host competed in praising el
chino and his politics.
Every ten minutes the Fujimori
campaign rock video was aired, and the show ended
with everyone in the studio dancing and singing
the Fujimori campaign song. Cut with scenes from
the rock video, it was quite a spectacle. Behind
the cameras, the station manager was clapping his
hands, urging the crew to develop a hypnotic climax
in praising the supreme leader.
This is not to say I would dislike
the political agenda of President Fujimori - I try
not to take sides - but I couldn't avoid seeing
how many of the charges concerning questionable
campaigning on the part of the government and government-controlled
media were true. The state is the biggest advertiser
in Peru, and by channelling ad revenue to favorable
stations, the government has firm control over most
major television stations and newspapers - in comparison
with them radio seems to fare relatively well.
Back to Radio San Miguel. After
the ordeal was over, I asked for a verification
for a few reports I had with me. It couldn't be
done right away, but confirmations would be brought
later to my hotel - so I was promised. Several phonecalls
during the following two days resulted in the same
response - but promises were just promises. And
I made the grave mistake of giving them a YLE cap...
Fucking Radio San Miguel
became my primitive reaction to all irritating situations
during the rest of the journey. Yea, I know, you
can't demand a QSL...
on April 22nd 2000)