Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento

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Sánchez was shot to death at about 9:30 a.m. by two unidentified gunmen outside the offices of radio station La Favorita 103.3FM La Voz de la Sierra Sur, in Miahuatlán de Porfirio Díaz, a municipality in the southern state of Oaxaca, according to news reports. Sánchez was the director of the station and also hosted a news program. The journalist had also written for local newspapers, according to reports.

In the days after the murder, the state attorney general’s office told reporters that authorities were investigating Sánchez‘s journalism as the motive for the crime, including his critical reports about local politics. One local journalist, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, told CPJ that Sánchez had written reports criticizing local authorities’ failure to implement adequate garbage pickup and to complete public works projects.

“He went after everyone,” Jorge Aquino Reyes, a prosecutor with the office, told local reporters.

According to the website of the television network Televisa, it was the first time Oaxaca authorities had officially recognized a journalism-related motive for a reporter’s murder.

Sánchez had received threatening phone calls before his death, reports said, without providing further details. Horacio Corro, a journalist and friend of Sánchez’s, told the press freedom group Article 19 that Sánchez had frequently received threats.

Arturo Peimbert Calvo, the ombudsman for the state human rights office, said another reporter at the radio station, who asked to remain anonymous, had also been threatened and feared for his life, according to the local newspaper El Piñero de la Cuenca.