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For the parent World Service, see BBC World Service.

BBC Mundo (Spanish for BBC World) is part of the BBC World Service's foreign language output, one of 33 languages it provides.


The BBC Mundo has been broadcasting since March 14, 1938. It was initially a response to broadcasts by the governments of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, which had begun a strong propaganda campaign aimed at Latin America. The British government wanted to counter the influences of those regimes' propaganda campaign, so the British government used its public broadcaster, the BBC, to transmit radio to Latin America. The BBC established the BBC Latin American Service (or el Servicio Latinoamericano de la BBC), which aired four hours of News in Spanish and Portuguese.

When World War II began, The BBC Latin American Service became crucial due to constant bombardment of propaganda from the Axis Powers radio networks. The BBC aired news and information in favour of the Allies, along with information about the horrible situation of the occupied countries under Nazi Germany, and the persecution of Europe's Jewish population.

After the end of the War, BBC Latin American Service changed form dramatically. In the 1950s, the Cold War had already started. BBC Latin American Service suffered from a reduction in staff and transmissions, because the BBC and the British Government were focusing their services on Communist Eastern Europe. Also, BBC Latin American Service changed from a public policy tool for the British government into a credible, fair, and neutral news organization. In Latin America, most radio networks were either under the control of the government, or owned by government supporters. Also, most Latin American countries were under military dictatorships. BBC Latin American Service became a crucial news organization for the people of Latin America since it was free from government censorship and bias from the media moguls. Many people tuned in to the BBC during the times of political crisis and military coups, like in Chile during the military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government on 1973.

The BBC Latin American Service's credibility came to a crisis on April 2, 1982. Great Britainmarker was at war with Argentinamarker over the Falkland Islandsmarker, or las Islas Malvinas, in Argentina. The British government forced the BBC Latin American Service to air pro-British propaganda during the war. While it was airing British propaganda, BBC Latin American Service launched a program that allowed its listeners to speak their opinions. This program was called "El Circuito" (The Circuit). Once the Falklands War was over, the BBC dropped the propaganda and continued with its credible programming.

The BBC Latin American Service expanded during the 1990s. New satellite technology allowed the BBC Latin American Service to be more accessible to the Latin American population. The creation of the internet allowed the BBC to create a Spanish Language News website. On October 10, 2005, the BBC Latin American Service officially changed its name to BBC Mundo. The name was changed because the Portuguese service was separated into its own personal service BBC Brasil, and because the BBC Mundo now also focuses on Spanish-speaking people in the United Statesmarker.


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