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Radio in Cutervo, Peru

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The following item is taken from Relampago DX #120 (August 2000) by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki. It is placed here with permission.

Por las Rutas del Perú (30) ...

CUTERVO

Cutervo was founded by the Augustinian Father Juan Ramírez on August 16, 1560 at the foot of Cerro Ilucán. The ancient ruins of the Inca Empire remains on the hilltop with mostly crumbling stone walls and fairly well-preserved watchtower. The town's name was derived from an occurrence in the history of the Inca Empire. Cutervo is derived from the Quechua phrase "Kutirimpuni" which means "we will come back here". The legend says that "Kutirimpuni" was said by an Inca warlord, before retiring after being defeated by the locals. He later shouted Cutervo to his enemies when he returned with a new and most powerful army and massacred all the local population.

Cutervo is a charming and tranquil highland town which sits at 06-22-30 L.S. and 78-48-56 L.W. at an elevation of 2649 meters in the Department of Cajamarca. The town is formed by narrow streets, white adobe houses and cement block row houses roofed with red clay tiles, and an old Catholic church, amidst an attractive landscape. With a growing population of 52,293 in the town and the surrounding district according to the 1996 census, it is currently a progressive and economically active town, made prosperous by plentiful agricultural production. The fertile soil of Cutervo with an ideal climate and an excellent rainfall yields abundant crops of maize, sugarcane, coffee, vegetables, and potatoes. It is also very good for the raising of cattle. About 70% of the agricultural products are taken to the coastal cities of Chiclayo and Piura.

The Province of Cutervo was established on October 22, 1910 under the law number 1296 as the tenthly recognized province in the Department of Cajamarca. Bordering upon the Department of Amazonas to the east along the Marañón River, it is surrounded by the Province of Jaén to the north, the Province of Chota to the south, and the Department of Lambayeque to the west. The Cordillera Central ranges from north to south, splitting the Province of Cutervo into the highlands to the west which reaches an altitude of 4061 meters, the highest peak in the province, and the lowlands to the east which gradually rises to an altitude of 418 meters in the Valley of Río Marañón. The Province of Cutervo which encompasses 3,028.46 square kilometers, is politically divided into the following 15 districts: Cutervo, Callayuc, Cujillo, Choros, La Ramada, Pimpingos, Querocotillo, San Andrés de Cutervo, San Juan de Cutervo, San Luis de Lucma, Santa Cruz, Santo Domingo de la Capilla, Santo Tomás, Socota, and Toribio Casanova. The whole province of Cutervo has 151,777 inhabitants according to the 1996 population census.

There are two routes for getting into Cutervo by public transport: one is from Cajamarca, capital of the Department of Cajamarca (210 kilometers); and the other is from Chiclayo, capital of the Department of Lambayeque (219 kilometers). Cajamarca is presently served by a daily flight of "Aero Continente" from Lima, which takes one hour and 30 minutes, but departure and arrival are only in the morning because frequent afternoon winds make landing and takeoff difficult. The most popular overland route between Cajamarca and Lima is paved all the way on the Pan-American Highway via Pacasmayo, which branches northward toward Chiclayo and Piura, or southward toward Trujillo and Lima. The journey takes about 15 hours. There are several daily flights between Chiclayo and Lima, and the airplane trip takes only one hour. Chiclayo is also easily accessible by overland for 11-hour drive. Most major bus companies operate up and down the coast along the Pan-American Highway.

When I first visited Cutervo in October of 1985, I made a round trip from Chiclayo. At that time, "Empresa de Transportes Atahualpa" was the only bus company operating the regular nightly service once a week between Chiclayo and Cutervo. The journey took about 13 hours and costed US$4.33 (75,000 soles) at that time. The bus left Chiclayo at 18:00 on Friday, and arrived Cutervo at 07:00 on Saturday morning. The bus departed from Cutervo at 17:00 on Sunday, and returned Chiclayo at 06:00 on Monday morning. Besides the scheduled bus service, freight trucks had regularly run on the route, so the easiest way of getting in and out Cutervo was hitching a ride on the back of a freight truck.

In late December of 1994, about nine years after my first visit, I made another journey to Cutervo to know the recent development of the local broadcasting scene. I learned that getting to there is now easier than before. Two bus companies operate daily transportation service between Chiclayo and Cutervo. All buses leave Chiclayo in the evening, and arrive Cutervo in the next morning. They all charges US$8.22 (18 nuevo soles) for 13-hour ride. Surprisingly, the improvement of the transportation and the communication system allowed the economic and commercial development of Cutervo. Modern conveniences such as potable water and electricity were supplied in Cutervo many years ago. Cold water is piped down the mountain and into most homes in the urban area by a municipal water system. When I first stayed in Cutervo, the municipal generator provided the electricity only between 18:00 and 22:00 local time. Therefore, electricity was more a nightly treat than a convenience. Currently, it has the electricity supply for 24 hours a day in the urban area and also suburban area.

Cutervo attracted the attention of Latin American DX enthusiasts in the early 1980's as one of the famous epicenter of shortwave broadcasters in the Department of Cajamarca. It was in December of 1979 that the broadcasting activity in Cutervo was opened by Radio Ilucán, the first commercial station, established by José Gálvez Salazar, a radio engineer. Subsequently, four stations have been monitored on shortwave by DX enthusiasts: Radio Ilucán, Radio La Voz de Cutervo, Radio Cutervo, and Radio Sudamérica. These stations had initially operated without licenses except Radio Cutervo. According to the official list of registered broadcasting stations issued by the Ministry of Transports and Communications in September of 1999, these stations have been authorized to transmit on the officially assigned frequencies. However, at the time of writing, all shortwave outlets in Cutervo are broadcasting on the out-of-band frequencies to avoid interference from other stations, whether they are licensed on their respective frequencies. The circumstance of local broadcast has been gradually changing during the last ten years. As of October 1985, the number of stations was: two on medium wave, three on shortwave, and a repeating station for Panamericana Televisión. While visiting there in late December of 1994, the number of active broadcasters was increased as follows: three on medium wave, three on shortwave, two on FM, and four television channels. The following lists are based on my monitoring and the official list of the Ministry of Transports and Communications.

Medium wave

950.0 OBX2G Radio Cutervo, Cutervo; 1 kW SKED: 1100-0200 (Monday-Saturday) and 1100-2300 (Sunday) As of December 1994, the station was temporally inactive due to a technical problem. Transmitter site: Cerro Niño Pucopata, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Parque José Gálvez Egusquiza, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
1060.1 OCY2O Radio Sudamérica, Cutervo; 1.5 kW SKED: 1130-0300 (Monday-Saturday) and 1200-2300 (Sunday) The medium wave outlet is officially assigned on 1060 kHz, but it is actually measured on 1060.1 kHz. Transmitter site: Zona Las Brisas, Pueblo Nuevo Oriente, Provincia de Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Jirón Ramón Castilla No. 491, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
1130.0 OCX2O Radio La Voz de Cutervo, Cutervo; 0.5 kW SKED: 1300-2200 Transmitter site: Pasaje La Culluna, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Jirón María Elena No. 644-650, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
1476.4 OBX2U Radio Ilucán, Cutervo; 1 kW SKED: 1100-0300 (Monday-Saturday) and 1030-2300 (Sunday) The medium wave outlet is officially assigned on 1470 kHz, but it is actually measured on 1476.4 kHz. Transmitter site: Cerro Niño Pucopata, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Calle Lima No. 228, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.

Shortwave

5521.5 OAW2D Radio Sudamérica, Cutervo; 0.25 kW SKED: 1130-0300 (Monday-Saturday) and 1200-2300 (Sunday) The shortwave outlet is currently licensed to transmit on 3320 kHz in the 90 meter band. However, it actually remains on the vicinity of 5521 kHz. Its nominal frequency is 5525 kHz. Transmitter site: Zona Las Brisas, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Jirón Ramón Castilla No. 491, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
5620.1 OAW2B Radio Ilucán, Cutervo; 1 kW SKED: 1100-0300 (Monday-Saturday) and 1030-2300 (Sunday) The shortwave outlet is currently licensed to transmit on 3280 kHz in the 90 meter band. However, it actually broadcast on the nominal frequency of 5620 kHz. Transmitter site: Cerro Niño Pucopata, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Calle Lima No. 228, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
5660.8 ---------- Radio La Voz de Cutervo, Cutervo; 0.5 kW SKED: 1100-1300 and 2200-0200 (daily) Transmitter site: Pasaje La Culluna, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Jirón María Elena No. 644-650, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
6690.0 OAX2R Radio Cutervo, Cutervo; 1 kW inactive The shortwave outlet has been off the air since 1991. It is licensed to operate on the officially assigned frequency of 3390 kHz in the 90 meter band, however it remained on 6690 kHz for years. Transmitter site: Cerro Niño Pucopata, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Parque José Gálvez Egusquiza, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.

FM

95.3 OCT2H Radio Sudamérica, Cutervo; 0.1 kW SKED: irregular operation as of December of 1994. The FM outlet carried its signal on 95.3 MHz while operating without license. Currently, it is authorized to broadcast on the officially assigned frequency of 97.7 MHz. Transmitter site: Jirón Ramón Castilla No. 491, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Calle Lima No. 228, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
96.1 ---------- Radio Ilucán, Cutervo; 0.01 kW SKED: irregular operation as of December of 1994. Transmitter site: Calle Lima No. 228, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Studio: Calle Lima No. 228, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
Registered FM stations not yet on the air
100.5 OCT2D Radiomar FM, Cutervo; 0.25 kW SKED: 24 hours Transmitter site: Benjamín Double No. 106-110, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.

Television repeaters

Ch. 7 OCY2R América TV (Compañía Peruana de Radiodifusión S.A.), Cutervo; 1 kW Transmitter site: Cerro Yunque, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
Ch. 9 OAY2B Panamericana TV (Panamericana Televisión S.A.), Cutervo; 1 kW Transmitter site: Cerro Yunque, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
Ch. 11 OAY2B Empresa Radiodifusora 1160 S.A., Cutervo; 1 kW Transmitter site: Cerro Yunque, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.
Ch. 12 OBY2M RTP - Instituto Nacional de Radio y Televisión, Cutervo; 1 kW Transmitter site: Cerro Yunque, Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.

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