Radio owner and host threatened with death

JANUARY 7, 2008 
Posted February 7, 2007

William Chamagua, Radio Mi Gente



Chamagua, owner of the San Salvador-based Radio Mi Gente and host of political news show “Hablando Con Mi Gente” (Talking to my people), has received several death threats that extend to his family and employees. Chamgaua told CPJ that he believes the threats are linked to the station’s critical reporting on the Salvadorian government.


Chamagua, who has a home in the U.S., received a call from an unidentified female to his American cell phone on January 7. The woman said Chamagua would be poisoned for his work, and that it was not safe for him in the El Salvador or in the U.S., the journalist told CPJ. Chamagua said he traveled to San Salvador two days later.


On January 14, an employee at the radio station answered an anonymous call, during which he was told that everyone who worked for Chamagua was at risk. Chamagua said the employee, who he did not name, resigned a few days later. On January 16, an unidentified individual called Chamagua’s family home, and warned the journalist’s 12-year-old niece that he knew where Chamagua’s family lived and that the journalist would pay for what he was doing. On the morning of January 19, a telephone operator at the station received three more menacing phone calls.


The reporter said that during his show he takes calls from Salvadorian citizens living in El Salvador and abroad to discuss constructive criticism of the government’s policies.