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.
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.
arrests or developments were reported as of June 2010, according to news
state officials did not respond to CPJ requests for comment.
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.