Journalist gunned down outside radio station in Mexico

New York, July 2, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today’s murder of Mexican journalist Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, a municipality in the southern state of Oaxaca. Sánchez was shot at about 9:30 a.m. outside the offices of radio station La Favorita 103.3FM La Voz de la Sierra Sur, where he hosted a news program, according to news reports. The journalist had also written for local newspapers, according to reports. Sánchez had received threatening phone calls, reports said, without providing further details.

“Mexican authorities must thoroughly investigate this killing and establish a motive–including any possible connection to journalism–and bring those responsible to justice,” said Carlos Lauría, CPJ’s senior Americas program coordinator. “This crime must not become one of the dozens of unsolved journalist murders in Mexico, which has one of the worst impunity rates in the world.”

Violence tied to drug trafficking has made Mexico one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the press, according to CPJ research. In May, the body of Veracruz radio journalist Armando Saldaña Morales was found in neighboring Oaxaca, according to the state’s attorney general’s office. More than 50 journalists have been killed or have disappeared since 2007, according to CPJ research. The country was ranked seventh on CPJ’s 2014 Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and the killers go free.