Oaxaca: community radio activists assassinated

Two announcers of the radio station “La Voz que Rompe el Silencio” (the Voice that Breaks the Silence) were assassinated on April 7 while traveling by car in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, according to the civil society organization Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos (Center for Community Support-Working in Unity, CACTUS). According to State Police the two women were killed and four injured—including two children—when their car was shot up near Putla de Guerrero in the indigenous Mixteca region 350 kilometers west of Oaxaca City.

The victims were Teresa Bautista and Felicitas MartĂ­nez, 22 and 20 years old, who worked for the radio station “La Voz que Rompe el Silencio” in San Juan Copala, 50 kilometers from where the shooting took place. Among the injured were Trique indigenous campaigner Faustino Vásquez Mártinez, his wife Cristina Flores and their two sons Agustin Gustavo and Jaciel Vásquez Flores, three and two years old. The injured who were taken to hospital suffered gunshot wounds. The police found around 20 AK-47 cartridges near the scene of the shooting.

The radio station started broadcasting on Jan. 20, on the first anniversary of the declaration of the autonomous community of San Juan Copala. On April 9-10, the victims were due to take part in a State Gathering for the Defense of the Peoples of Oaxaca, where they were to coordinate a workshop on community radio.

Members of CACTUS state that these murders indicate the lack of security in Oaxaca state, and the repression against community radio stations exercising their right to freedom of communication, as guaranteed in article 169 of the International Labor Organization. (UK Indymedia, April 11 via Upside Down World)

See our last posts on Mexico and the struggle in Oaxaca.