Thursday, April 10, 2008

Community Radio Producers Murdered in Mexico

April 7th, 2008. Oaxaca, Mexico.
Two indigenous triqui women who worked at the community radio station La Voz que Rompe el Silencio (The Voice that Breaks the Silence), in the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala (Mixteca region), were shot and murdered while on their way to Oaxaca city to participate in the State Forum for the Defense of the Rights of the Peoples of Oaxaca. Three other people were injured.

According to the State Attorney General, the victims are Teresa Bautista Merino (24 years old) and Felícitas Martínez Sánchez (20 years old). Francisco Vásquez Martínez (30 years old), his wife Cristina Martínez Flores (22 years old), and their son Jaciel Vásquez Martínez (three years old) were also injured in the attack.

According to prelimary reports, the women had left the station, which is part of the Network of Indigenous Community Radio Stations of the Southeast (Red de Radios Comunitarias Indígenas del Sureste), around 1:00 PM. They were travelling in a truck on their way to Oaxaca city, but were ambushed on the outskirts of the community Llano Juarez.

The two community radio activists were supposed to coordinate the working group for Community and Alternative Communication: Community Radio, Video, Press, and Internet, at the State Forum for the Defense of the Rights of the People of Oaxaca, which was to begin the today (Wednesday) in the auditorium of Seccion 22 of the teachers union in Oaxaca. The Center for Community Support Working Together (CACTUS as the spanish acronym) released a communique denouncing the murders and demanding that the state authorities investigate and punish those responsible for the crime.

The state attorney general said that 20 bullet shells, caliber 7.62, were found at the site of the murders, along with other arms including an AK-47. People are encouraged to contact their local embassies and consulates (or to organize demonstrations at their local embassies and consulates) to express their condemnation of this paramilitary repression of indigenous women and community media projects.A feature film about the struggle for community radio in Southern Mexico is Un Poquito de Tanto Verdad (A Little Bit of So Much Truth)
by Jill Freidberg and Mal de Ojo.


RED DE SOLIDARIDAD
INTERNACIONAL DE AMARC
ACCION URGENTE
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México, 9 de abril de 2008
AMARC, Art19 y RSF condenan asesinato de dos periodistas comunitarias en México

La Asociación Mundial de Radios Comunitarias de México, Artículo 19 y Reporteros sin Fronteras condenamos el asesinato de dos periodistas comunitarias y exigimos:

1. El esclarecimiento de los hechos ocurridos el día 8 de abril del presente año en la carretera que conduce a San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, que resultaron en el asesinato de Teresa Bautista Merino y Felicitas Martínez Sánchez, periodistas comunitarias de la emisora “La Voz que Rompe el Silencio”.

2. La sanción de los responsables intelectuales y materiales que quitaron la vida a estas periodistas.

3. Garantizar la vida e integridad de los sobrevivientes Faustino Vázquez Martínez, Cristina Martínez Flores y sus dos hijos menores, quienes son testigos clave de los hechos, así la vida e integridad de los demás integrantes de la emisora comunitaria.

4. El cese del clima de impunidad que permite la continuidad de las agresiones, desapariciones y asesinatos en contra de medios comunitarios, así como en contra de periodistas y medios de comunicación en general, lo que hace que México sea el país mas peligroso para el ejercicio periodístico en el continente [ver: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=24030]].

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World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)
International Solidarity Network
Urgent Action Alert
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Mexico, April 9th, 2008

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Article 19, and Reporters Without Borders condemn the murder of two community journalists in Mexico, and we demand:

Clarification of the events that occurred on April 8th of this year, on the highway to San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, where community journalists Teresa Bautista Merino y Felicitas Martínez Sánchez, were murdered. Both journalists worked with the radio station "The Voice That Breaks the Silence" (La Voz Que Rompe El Silencio).

Punishment of all those responsible for the murder of these journalists.

The guaranteed safety of the surviving victims, Faustino Vázquez Martínez, Cristina Martínez Flores and her two sons, who witnessed the events, as well as the guaranteed safety of everyone else working at the community radio station.

An end to the impunity that allows the ongoing repression, disappearances, and murders of journalists and mediamakers in general, and which makes Mexico the most dangerous country for journalists, in the Americas.

.............................................

Recommended Action:

Send emails or faxes, or make phone calls demanding the immediate investigation of the murders, punishment of those responsible, and guaranteed safety for the witnesses and their children.

Enviar notas para exigir el rápido esclarecimiento de los hechos, la sanción de los responsables y dar garantías de seguridad para los testigos y sus hijos.

Felipe Calderón Hinojosa
felipe.calderon@presidencia.gob.mx
(55) 5093- 5300 / Fax: 5093-4901

Juan Camilo Mouriño Terrazo
jcmourino@segob.gob.mx
(55) 5093-3400

Eduardo Medina Mora Icaza
yess@pgr.gob.mx
(55) 5346 0114 / (55) 5346 0115 / Fax: 5346 0908

Ulises Ruiz Ortiz
gobernador@oaxaca.gob.mx
(951) 502 05 30 / Fax: (951) 502 05 31

José Luis Soberanes
correo@cndh.org.mx
1719-2000 Exts 8293 y 8280

C. Octavio Alberto Orellana Wiarco
Fiscal Especial para la Atención de Delitos Cometidos contra Periodistas
Fax 53 46 43 70

Gustavo Gómez
Director Programa de Legislaciones y Derecho a la Comunicación
AMARC-ALC

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