Community radio host who received threats is killed in Oaxaca, Mexico

Telésforo Santiago Enríquez, founder of indigenous community radio station Estéreo Cafetal, was killed on May 2 in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Armed men ambushed the journalist in San Agustín Loxicha as he was driving to host the evening news at his radio station, as reported by Noticias Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca, citing the spokesperson for the local section of the National Union of Education Workers.

Santiago Enríquez recently received threats, according to what two people close to the radio host told freedom of expression organization Article 19 Mexico.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF, for its acronym in French) said the journalist received death threats in February 2019. The organization, as well as local media, also said he “often criticized local authorities” on his programs.

"Those of us who make up the 'Estéreo Cafetal' team, we are dismayed and outraged by the cowardly murder of our Director, companion and friend, Profesor Telesforo Santiago, who was always a great example of fight and work for his people," the Estéreo Cafetal radio station wrote on its Facebook page.

Santiago Enríquez was also an education professor, as well as a promoter and defender of indigenous languages, according to Noticias Voz e Imagen de Oaxaca. The organization also reported he belonged to the Democratic Movement of Education Workers of Oaxaca (MDTEO). He ran for municipal president several times, according to El Sol de Mexico.

The National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) condemned the killing of the radio host and said it would request precautionary measures for his family and colleagues.

Emmanuel Colombié, director of the Latin American desk for RSF, called for an “exhaustive and transparent investigation” into the murder.

The Attorney General of the State of Oaxaca said it was investigating the murder of the founder of a community radio station identified by the initials T.S.E. and was committed to the case not going unpunished. The person, it said, had been shot “at the height of the face and neck.”

Santiago Enríquez was killed on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated annually on May 3. He is the third community radio press worker and fourth journalist to be killed this year in Mexico, according to Article 19 Mexico.

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