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Radio La Voz de Cutervo

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The following item is taken from Relampago DX #122 (October 2000) by Takayuki Inoue Nozaki. It is placed here with permission.

Por las Rutas del Perú (32) ...

RADIO LA VOZ DE CUTERVO

It was in the middle of March, 1983 that Radio La Voz de Cutervo, the second shortwave broadcaster established in Cutervo, was first noted in Japan, on the measured frequency of 4965.8 kHz in the 60 meter band. Announcing on the air "En los 4965 kHz onda corta banda international de 60 metros desde Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú, transmite OAX4G Radio La Voz de Cutervo, voz y mensaje del Ilucán", the station seemingly managed to pretend to be a legal broadcasting enterprise. The faked callsign was also displayed on the first station letterhead. As the station was established in the Department of Cajamarca, the region number "2" should be included in the callsign under the regulation of telecommunication license. In fact, OAX4G had been assigned to another legally authorized station in Lima, Radioprogramas del Perú on 730 kHz. Afterward, another faked callsign OAX4Z was used on the second station letterhead, issued in 1985. The callsign was assigned to 6080 kHz, one of the shortwave outlets of Radio Nacional del Perú in Lima, which had not been in operation for twenty-odd years.

According to monitoring by Latin American DX enthusiasts, Radio La Voz de Cutervo continued transmitting on 4965.8 kHz from March of 1983 through late October of 1985. The station was sporadically audible with a fair signal around 1100-1200 in Japan. At that time, the morning transmission on weekdays started at 1100 with the Peruvian National Anthem, and continued with "Amanecer Campesino", an early morning folklore program conducted by Rosalía Silva de Sánchez, along with a personal message and greeting service in Quechua and Spanish. At 1200 the station broadcast a social service program entitled "Servicio a la Colectividad Cutervina" with agricultural information for the collectivity of Cutervo.

In the early 1980's, there were several Latin American stations tunable in the vicinity of 4965 kHz where Radio La Voz de Cutervo also transmitted: ZYF275 Radio Alvorada (Parintins - Brazil) on 4964.5 kHz, HROX Radio Landia (Comayagua- Honduras) on 4964.6 kHz, CP90 Radio Juan XXIII on 4964.8 kHz, ZYG761 Radio Poti (Natal - Brazil) on 4965.0 kHz, HJAE Radio Santa Fe (Bogotá - Colombia) on 4965.1 kHz. Therefore, depending on the reception condition and time, Radio La Voz de Cutervo was heard with interference from other stations operating around the channel. Furthermore in August of 1985, OAZ7B Radio San Miguel, a commercial station broadcasting from Cusco, Peru, made its first appearance on the measured frequency of 4965.9 kHz, only 100 Hz higher than the frequency of Radio La Voz de Cutervo. Transmitting fully with an output power of 1 kW, Radio San Miguel became an easily audible Peruvian station on shortwave for DX monitors abroad. After that, Radio La Voz de Cutervo suffered from a tremendous amount of interference from Radio San Miguel. Subsequently, in early November of 1985, Radio La Voz de Cutervo disappeared from the airwaves.

It was noted in the middle of November 1985 that Radio La Voz de Cutervo went back on the air and changed its frequency from 4965.8 kHz to 5661.1 kHz to broadcast on a suitable channel free from interference. According to the station identification, the station nominally broadcast on two frequencies: 1200 kHz medium wave and 5660 kHz shortwave. The station had been monitored by Latin American DX enthusiasts on 5661.1 kHz until late July of 1986, and then it was not traced on shortwave. Reportedly, on July 25, 1986, the station was raided by the Ministry of Transports and Communications owing to its broadcasting operations without a license.

After having remained silent for several months, Radio La Voz de Cutervo reactivated its shortwave transmissions in early February of 1987. Transmitting on the previously used frequency of 5661.1 kHz, the shortwave outlet seemingly remained an illegal operation. The station was regularly heard between early February of 1987 and late January of 1989.

In September of 1989, the station resumed its shortwave transmissions, and slightly moved down to the measured frequency of 5660.5 kHz, on which frequency it was sporadically observed from September of 1989 through March of 1996. Thereafter, the station has not been reported in reliable DX bulletins, and it vanished from the shortwave band.

It was on October 12, 1985 that I first visited Radio La Voz de Cutervo, which was located at Jirón Comercio No. 628, only a half block from the Plaza de Armas in Cutervo. The station was in a two-story long row of adobe brick buildings with white walls. The entrance had a large handpainted multicolored wooden billboard, which depicted the station name "Radio La Voz de Cutervo" and a funny illustration of a man putting a headphone on his bald head. The station facilities consisted of a reception desk, an administration office, a record and cassette library, a studio which included a master control cabin, an announcing room, and another small announcers' cabin equipped with just a microphone for reading the news and doing interviews. The control cabin was equipped with a six-channel console mixer, two "Pioneer" brand SL-1200MK model turntables, a "Technics" brand CTW105 model cassette deck, and a "Sony" brand BCM-65F model microphone.

Julio César Sánchez Camacho, the station owner and administrative manager of Radio La Voz de Cutervo, gave me a hearty welcome for my visit. He was very happy to receive the second listener from abroad. Undoubtedly, I was the first visitor coming from Japan, however, the first visitor from abroad was Don Moore, a radio monitoring enthusiast of the United States. Julio César Sánchez Camacho remembered having received my reception reports with a picture of my DX shack. As I had not received any reply from the station, I asked him if he had sent me a verification letter for my report. He showed me several type-finished thank you letters to overseas listeners in the United States, Australia, Sweden, Finland, and Japan, and one of them was prepared for me. All the letters were just waiting to be sent to the post office. However, he was very sorry he did not have the opportunity to send out them out until that moment. He said to me that he would send them as soon as possible. Fortunately, I got a QSL letter, dated September 9, 1993, during my stay in Cutervo, though I wonder how many DXers may have obtained a reply from the station due to my visit.

Julio César Sánchez Camacho, who had gained his experience as a broadcaster by working for the cross-town competition, decided to found his own venture with his wife. "Radio La Voz de Cutervo Socidad Comercial de Responsabilidad Limitada" was established by Julio César Sánchez Camacho and Rosalía Silva de Sánchez, on August 23, 1982, as the second broadcasting enterprise in Cutervo. The first studio and office were installed at Jirón Ramón Castilla No. 508 in front of Plaza de Armas. The first experimental broadcasts went on the air in early August of 1982, identifying itself as "Radio Cutervo, voz y mensaje del Ilucán". Initially, the station carried its experimental transmissions for about four or five hours per day in the local evening, while the electricity was available in the town. It operated on the nominal frequency of 4965 kHz in the 60 meter band shortwave, with a transmitter designed and manufactured by Jorge Gómez Torres, a radio engineer in Lima, and a half wave dipole antenna (15 meters high above the ground). Its output power was nominally rated as 1 kW, but the station was run with a reduced power of 0.7 kW for better performance and to avoid overmodulation. The transmitting unit was put on the hilltop of "Cerro Ilucán" about two kilometers from the studio in the town.

In 1982, there was not other competitor in the local broadcasting field excepting Radio Ilucán. However, Julio César Sánchez Camacho learned that Marino Julca Ramírez made a registration to the municipality and also applied for radio broadcasting licenses to the Ministry of Transports and Communications under the name of "Radio Cutervo Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada" to found a radio station in the town. Consequently in October of 1982, the station changed its identify from Radio Cutervo to Radio La Voz de Cutervo which was registered for the company name, to avoid confusion with the other broadcasting enterprise's name. Eventually in August of 1983, the privately-owned broadcasting enterprise experimentally came onto the air with the name of Radio Cutervo.

On February 8, 1983, Radio La Voz de Cutervo started its regular transmissions, and extended its broadcasting schedule to provide a variety of programs from the early morning through the evening. The station broadcast for 14 hours of programming, including music shows, light entertainment, news, information, sports, message and greeting service, social service, and religious from 1100 to 0100 (i.e. 0600-2000 local time) daily. As the electricity was only supplied in the town between 2300 and 0300 (i.e. 1800-2200 local time) in those years, the station operated with its own electricity supply system during the day, and both studio and transmitting plant were equipped with private diesel generators.

In February of 1985, the studio and office were moved from Jirón Ramón Castilla No. 508 to Jirón Comercio No. 628, where the station owner and his family resided at that time. About one month later, the station purchased a transmitter of mere 0.1 kW to commence the transmission on medium wave. Subsequently in late April of 1985, it started broadcasting on 1320 kHz medium wave for listeners living in Cutervo and surrounding villages.

As of October 1985, Radio La Voz de Cutervo broadcast simultaneously on 4965 kHz in the 60 meter band shortwave and 1320 kHz medium wave, and its transmissions were scheduled at 1100-0100 (Monday to Friday), 1100-2400 (Saturday), and 1000-0500 (Sunday). In a classification of programs, musical entertainment made up 50%, social service 30%, news and information 10%, sports 7%, and religious 3%. Musically speaking, there were the percentage categories: regional folklore 50%, bolero and oldies 20%, música criolla 10%, tropical music (cumbia and chicha) 10%, and Latin American pops 10%. The regular broadcasts on weekdays were scheduled with the following programs: 1100-1200 "Amanecer Campesino", 1200-1230 "Servicio a la Colectividad Social", 1230-1300 "Un Mensaje a la Conciencia", 1300-1400 "Festival del Bolero", 1400-1700 "Mundo Social", 1700-1800 "Pentagrama Criollo", 1800-1900 "Noticiero Informativo", 1900-2000 "Festival de la Cumbia Peruana", 2000-2200 "Mundo Social", 2200-2300 "Concierto del Ayer", 2300-2400 "La Voz del Deporte", and 2400-0100 "Así es Mi Tierra". On Saturday, the station carried programming similar to that on weekdays, though the one-hour newscast was not broadcast. The Sunday transmission was dedicated to the personal announcements and record dedications to wish happy birthday or anniversary to relatives and friends.

In the 1980's, telephone and mail service were not available in many isolated villages of the Province of Cutervo and the remote inlands of Northern Peru, therefore radio stations have played an important part of the medium of communications, with the airwaves taking the place of telephones and telegrams. The main reason that shortwave has been utilized so extensively in this region, is to allow airwave-communications to reach distant villages and towns. Identifying with the slogan "voz y mensaje del Ilucán" (voice and message of Ilucán), Radio La Voz de Cutervo has concentrated on the personal announcements and social service since its foundation. The most popular program was "Mundo Social" which broadcast twice a day at 1400-1700 in the morning and at 2000-2200 in the evening from Monday through Saturday, providing personal messages and greetings, a personal communication service, announcements of births, deaths, missing documents, and mass invitation, with listeners' requested music. The station also provided the social service in Quechua and Spanish for peasant listeners in the early morning show "Amanecer Campesino" and the evening show "Así es Mi Tierra", playing exclusively regional folklore. As of October 1985, the station charged US$0.17 (i.e. 3000 soles) per personal announcement for three airings, and US$0.28 (5,000 soles) per record dedication. Per day, the average number of personal announcements were 200 and record dedications were 70. The station also sold its airtime for commercial advertisements, however, there were not so many commercial activities in Cutervo. Consequently, the major income of the station was from selling airtime for personal announcements and social services.

According to the official publication "El Peruano", it was on July 25, 1986 that the broadcasting installations of Radio La Voz de Cutervo were seized owing to having broadcast without licenses, under the Ministerial Resolution No. 097-086-TC/TEL, by the Ministry of Transports and Communications. The station owner immediately appealed to the authorities, demonstrating the enterprise permission and the mercantile registration recognized by the local government on February 8, 1983 and that applied documents dated on July 24, 1985, for licenses to the communication system of Ministry of Transports and Communications. Eventually, the station avoided the confiscation of its equipment. The authorities declared under the Ministerial Resolution No. 141-086-TC/TEL that the station could not operate until it effectively became an authorized one, and if that did not happen, it would be definitely closed down.

On September 1, 1986, Radio La Voz de Cutervo was provisionally authorized to conduct experimental transmissions on the frequency of 1130 kHz medium wave with the callsign OCX2O for a one-year period, under the Ministerial Resolution No. 150-086-TC/TEL. Consequently, the medium wave outlet changed from 1200 kHz to the assigned frequency of 1130 kHz.

It was noted by monitoring that Radio La Voz de Cutervo resumed its shortwave transmissions on 5660 kHz in February of 1987. It is hard to believe that the shortwave outlet had been licensed to operate on a frequency in the aeronautical mobile band, therefore it apparently continued to be on the air without a license.

On December 21, 1987, the medium wave outlet was definitely licensed to transmit on 1130 kHz under Ministerial Resolution No. 0495-87-MTC/TEL. 15.17. for a ten-year period. However, the shortwave outlet had not been licensed owing to lack of a free frequency in the tropical bands.

On January 1, 1995, I had a second opportunity to visit Radio La Voz de Cutervo. I learned that after my previous visit to Cutervo, the studio and office were moved to Calle María Elena Medina No. 644-650, in 1990. The station was two-story modern concrete building painted in light sky-blue, shared with the owner's house on the second floor and the station facilities on the first floor. Above the entrance, there was a large handpainted multicolored wooden billboard was displayed, which depicted the station name "Radio" in blue, "La Voz de Cutervo" in emerald green, the medium wave outlet "1130 AM" in blue, and the slogan "voz y mensaje del Ilucán" in white letters on an orange background, with a beautiful illustration of a palm, a sun, and a rainbow.

Entering inside, there was a space of five meters square, which served as both a reception area and an administration office. It included a wooden settee for people waiting for the personal announcement service, a steel desk with an old typewriter, and two wooden chairs. "Radio La Voz de Cutervo 8 años a tu servicio" which was painted on the left side wall from the entrance for the station's eighth anniversary, attracted the visitor's attention. The upper part of the front wall was horizontally painted with "Bienvenidos a su radio ... " in sky-blue letters and "La Voz de Cutervo" in red letters, and was vertically painted with "1130 AM" in sky-blue letters. Separated from the reception and administration office by the wall was a wooden door which displayed a small plate of "Silencio - Locución" and a large plate glass window that was the broadcasting studio. The studio was about three meters long and five meters wide. It was equipped with a "Nippon Amerika" brand console mixer (6 channel), two "Pioneer" brand SL-1200MK model turntables, two "Panasonic National" brand radio-cassette recorders, a radio receiver of unknown brand that functioned as double cassette recorders, a "Technics" brand audio processor, and two "Sony" brand microphones. Many LPs, 45s records, and cassette tapes lined the shelved in front and on beside of the console table.

As of January of 1995, Radio La Voz de Cutervo broadcast at 1100-0200 daily, carrying its programs on 5660 kHz at 1100-1300 in the early morning and at 2200-0200 in the evening hours, and on 1130 kHz at 1300-2200 during the day. Since the medium wave transmitter failed several years ago, the station utilized the 1 kW transmitter for both the shortwave and medium wave outlets by switching the crystal according to the programming schedule.

The circumstances of local broadcasting have been gradually changing and modern communications had arrived in Cutervo ten years after my previous visit in the form of telephones. During my stay in Cutervo, I could make an international call to my friend Nobuyoshi Aoi, an old member of Radio Nuevo Mundo, to notify him that I would send my greeting for DXers in Japan through the shortwave transmission of Radio Ilucán, but not of Radio La Voz de Cutervo. The reason why I chose Radio Ilucán was because it was actually easily heard on the shortwave outlet with an output of 1 kW in Northern Peru and even in Japan, and I learned that Radio La Voz de Cutervo reduced its output power to 0.5 kW. In fact, the local audience also knew which station had major coverage, and as a result, as of January of 1995, the average number of personal announcements per day was only 50 and of record dedications only 10 per day. Therefore, the daily income provided by the social service had sharply decreased compared with the average in 1985.

Radio La Voz de Cutervo is no longer on shortwave and hasn't been since late March of 1996. It is unknown if the station still exists on medium wave or on FM. According to the official list of the Ministry of Transports and Communications, issued in November of 2000, the medium wave outlet of Radio La Voz de Cutervo was already cancelled, and the station is not licensed on either shortwave or FM.

Identifications

"Entretenimiento, cultura e información para toda la sierra norte del país, a través de Radio La Voz de Cutervo, la radio que comunica más y mejor."

"Transmite La Voz de Cutervo, una voz amiga cutervina en la frecuencia de los 5660 kHz banda internacional de 60 metros, onda corta. Usted siga con nosotros."

"Nuestras potentes ondas radiales cubren nítidamente todo el territorio nacional, somos La Voz de Cutervo, una radio que evoca esta legendaria tierra cajamarquina a lo largo y ancho del Perú. Gracias por tu sintonía."

"OCX2O 1130 kHz transmite Radio La Voz de Cutervo, emisora afiliada a la Asociación de Radiodifusoras y Televisión Peruana, con Resolución Ministerial 150-86 del Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones. Radio La Voz de Cutervo."

"La música de su preferencia, el programa que usted desea, la hora a cada instante y la información veraz e imparcial, hacen de La Voz de Cutervo, la emisora que todos prefieren. Quédese en nuestra sintonía."

"Cutervo, heróico pueblo de tradiciones y leyendas, enclavado en el corazón del Ande cajamarquino, tierra viril y fecunda. Esta es la radio que difunde a los cuatros puntos cardinales, tu belleza, tu bondad y tu grandeza. La Voz de Cutervo, una voz auténtica, nítida y potente. Por eso nos prefiere la gente."

"Estas son las potentes ondas de Radio La Voz de Cutervo: 5660 kHz banda internacional de 60 metros onda corta y 1130 kHz onda media en amplitud modulada, transmitiendo desde Cutervo, Cajamarca para el Perú y el mundo."

Opening announcement

"Muy buenos días amables radioescuchas. Este es un nuevo día de programación radial que te ofrece Radio La Voz de Cutervo. Nuestro mejor deseo es servir a la unión del pueblo cutervino y el nororiente peruano. Esperamos satisfacer tus preferencias musicales y mantenerte informado sobre la cultura de nuestro país y el continente. Mantente en nuestra sintonía."

Closing announcement

"Y así concluye nuestra brillante programación correspondiente a la fecha. Y al haberlo hecho esperamos que todos y cada uno de nuestros programas hayan sido de vuestra completa satisfacción. Por lo que no dudamos haber contado con vuestra carísima sintonía. Lo que motiva Radio La Voz de Cutervo expresar a todos y cada uno de nuestros oyentes las más infinitas gratitudes por tan valiosa compañía. Asimismo extenderles nuestra cordialísima invitación para que nos vuelvan a escuchar el día de mañana en una jornada similar. Por tanto deseamos a todos ustedes felices sueños y un alegre despertar."

Technical Information as of January 1995

OCX2O 1130 kHz: is equipped with a "Jorge Gómez Torres" brand transmitter of 1 kW and a 1/4 wave vertical antenna (66 meters high above the ground). It formerly transmitted on the frequency of 1320 kHz with a transmitter of 0.1 kW, made in Lima.
5660 kHz: is equipped with a "Jorge Gómez Torres" brand transmitter of 1 kW and a 1/2 wave dipole antenna (13 meters high above the ground).

Transmitter site: Pasaje La Culluna, Cutervo, Provincia de Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú. Transmitter site is located two kilometers northeast from the studio. The transmitter site and studio are connected by a fixed coaxial cable.

Studio: Calle María Elena Medina No. 644-650, Cutervo, Provincia de Cutervo, Departamento de Cajamarca, República del Perú.

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