San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, is the municipality with the greatest religious plurality in Mexico. The 32 radio stations that transmit programs with spiritual content contribute to this, of the 69 that can be heard in modulated frequency in that locality. That is, almost half of the quadrant broadcasts religious music, preaching, live worship, advice, Bible readings, and prayers 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
San Cristóbal was founded in 1528. Since then, religion has been fundamental for its economic, social, cultural, and political development. From there, Bishop Samuel Ruiz García operated the structure and ideology of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) from the beginning of the ’90s until its appearance in 1994, with the “blessing” and moral and human support of leaders of other Religious Associations. The municipality is today a breeding ground for any passive manifestation -or of another nature- in the name of God. Radio plays a strategic role for mass manipulation in any of the regional languages such as Chontal, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, and Tojolabal.
On December 18, 2004, Pastor Esdras Alonso founded the first religious radio station in that town. He called it “Eagle Wings”, which broadcasts in September 100, until today the most influential in that mayor’s office. Then “Esperanza Miel” appeared, which broadcasts in Spanish and in Tzotzil on the frequency, whose cabin is located in the temple of the same denomination. And so they grew until they saturated the quadrant and in 2005 an “agreement” was reached with the Federal and State Governments so that the stations were not “dismantled” in operations carried out by the then-Attorney General’s Office (PGR). .
At present, you can listen to “Radio Gracia”, on FM 87.5, which is part of the religious movement born in Colombia “Growing in Grace”. The initiator was José Luis de Jesús Miranda, whom they recognized as “the new Jesus Christ” and nicknamed him “Papi”; congregants are called “gods” and the number 666 is tattooed on some part of their body, including children; their goal is to “rule the world.” They call themselves “the super race”, “angels of God”, “perfect spirits”. They have churches in 18 countries, including Mexico. “Papi” died on November 17, 2013, he suffered from cirrhosis of the liver, but his doctrine continues to spread through the airwaves.
Operators, announcers, apprentice audio engineers, scriptwriters, who provide their services in the improvised radio booths have been able to combine social networks and radio, such as the 87.9 that has more than 13 thousand followers on social networks and mainly transmits programming Christian musical.
Baptist, Adventist, and Pentecostal Churches have invested millions of pesos in the purchase and installation of equipment, infrastructure, and maintenance of the antennas and transmitters that are used daily, marketing their spaces between congregations and Ministers of Worship with less purchasing power who preach in the zone. Most of them have no financial gain and are supported by contributions from their central, donations made by pastors and faithful from various states, and collections organized by the stations themselves to raise funds.
There is also “Radio Fraternidad” on 91.1 FM, “non-profit radio at the service of the Diocese of SCDLC”, as read on its website. And although 95% of the frequencies are operated by evangelicals, the Catholic radio maintains a captive audience and with a rating that at various times exceeds that of commercial radio stations that are also heard in San Cristóbal de las Casas (at least 37).
Religious radio stations have monopolized the market for souls in the Municipality considered “the most magical of the Magical Towns”.