Teresa Bautista Merino

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Bautista, 24, and Felicitas Martínez Sánchez, 20, producers for a community radio station in the southern state of Oaxaca, were shot by unidentified men armed with assault rifles in an ambush along a rural road. Three others in the vehicle, including a young child, were injured, local news reports said.

The journalists were returning from a workshop and promotional event for their station, Radio Copala, or “La Voz que Rompe el Silencio” (The Voice that Breaks the Silence). The station, launched in January 2008 and based in the rural town of San Juan Copala, catered to the local Triqui indigenous group and offered programming in both the Triqui language and Spanish. The two producers covered a range of topics, from political news and health to education and cultural events, Jorge Albino Ortiz, general coordinator of the station, told CPJ. After the murders, the station reduced its coverage of sensitive political topics.

No arrests or developments were reported as of June 2010, according to news reports. Oaxaca state officials did not respond to CPJ requests for comment.

The area surrounding San Juan Copala, part of Oaxaca’s impoverished Mixteca region, has been known for long-running political and land disputes, often linked to power brokers from Oaxaca state’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. Pro-state government paramilitary groups have been present in the area. In January 2007, tensions escalated when a Triqui movement declared its intention to make San Juan Copala an autonomous municipality.  

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