Community Radio Director Shot and Killed in the Oaxaca State of Mexico –
Abel Manuel Bautista Raymundo, founder and director or Radio Espacio 96.1 FM in Oaxaca, Mexico and president of the Vara 7 Association of Community Radio Stations, was killed leaving work on April 14.
Bautista had just driven from work when he was ambushed, shot and killed by three individuals in another car. His vehicle clearly labeled with a “Radio Spacio 96.1” emblem, along with a label that stated, “press”.
The motive and those involved in the attack on the journalist are unknown at this time.
Claire San Filippo, head of the Reporters Without Borders desk, “condemns the murder and calls on both the federal and Oaxaca state authorities to conduct an independent, impartial and thorough investigation that does not rule out the possible connection”.
Three days following the murder of Bautista, authorities raided several community radio stations, confiscating their broadcasting equipment.
Rather than “persecuting the region’s community radio stations” Filippo continued, “the priority for the authorities should be solving this murder.”
Oaxaca has proven itself as one of the most dangerous states in Mexico for journalists. Within the last 15 years, 7 of the 83 media workers killed due to their journalistic work have taken place in Oaxaca.
The state ranks fourth in the highest number of murders of media workers after Veracruz, Tamaulipas and Coahuila.
Similar to the specific press freedom issues in Mexico, community media journalists are often the targets of violence in Oaxaca state, according to the RWB. But the larger problem still sits with the governmental authorities that are supposed to be fixing the larger issue that covers the entire country.
Filippo states “the situation for media personnel in Mexico will continue to be disastrous as long as the police and judicial authorities fail to do their work and crimes of violence against journalists remain unpunished.”