Fernández, 62, was walking home with his son when an unidentified assailant approached and shot him twice, according to local news reports. He died at a local hospital. A politician with the Revolutionary Democratic Party and a former governor, Fernandez owned Radio Mi Favorita in the central province of Coclé.
Police were looking into reports that Fernández had received recent threats concerning the station's coverage of alleged irregularities in the allocation of local land titles, according to local news accounts. The station also reported allegations that officials had provided land to corporations close to the government.
A local government worker was arrested in November and charged with carrying out Fernández's murder. No evidence was immediately disclosed. A lawyer for the defendant said surveillance footage showed his client buying beer at a supermarket in Panama City, roughly two hours from Coclé, at the time of the shooting, news reports said.