Newspaper correspondent and radio host killed within 24 hours in Oaxaca, Mexico

Attention is on the Mexican state of Oaxaca after two media workers were killed there this past weekend.

Marcos Hernández Bautista, a 38-year-old correspondent for the news organization Noticias Voz e Imagen of Oaxaca, was shot in the head while getting into his car late on the night of Jan. 21. The murder happened in San Andrés Huaxpaltepec in the Costa Region of Oaxaca state.

Hernández Bautista was also a municipal councilor of culture in Santiago Jamiltepec and contributor to radio stations in Pinotepa Nacional and Santiago Jamiltepec, according to Noticias Voz e Imagen.

Members of this publishing house demand that the judicial authorities thoroughly investigate the bloody deed that came to our home and that is against Freedom of Expression, and also to punish the person or persons responsible,” Noticias Voz e Imagen wrote in an article on its site.

According to Article 19 México, Ismael Sanmartín Hernández, editorial director of Noticias Voz e Imagentold the organization, “Marcos had expressed fear because in some publications he had touched on political interests and those interests of chiefs in the region.”

Hernández Bautista had been working on stories about local indigenous radio stations, the visit of politician and former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador and an investigation about district realignment for elections and its impact on powerful groups, Article 19 reported.

“Article 19 urges the [Attorney General of Justice] of the state of Oaxaca to promptly investigate the murder of Marcos Hernández Bautista, making his journalistic work a priority in the investigation. Also, remember that it is a constitutional obligation of the Special Prosecutor for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE), of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic (PGR), to investigate the case, treating it as serious violation to human rights,” the freedom of expression organization wrote on its site.

Article 19 documented nine murders of journalists in Oaxaca since 2000. Five of those occurred under the administration of Gabino Cué, governor of Oaxaca.

PEN Méxicothe International Federation of Journalists and the National Association of Press Writers of Mexico also condemned Hernández Bautista's murder.

Also in Oaxaca, Reynel Martínez Cerqueda, a host at community radio station "Manantial" of Santiago Laollaga and mototaxi owner, was killed on Jan. 22. Martínez Cerqueda, 43, was shot while riding in a mototaxi, according to Proceso. The news organization said he had a music program at the radio station.

Three journalists were found murdered in Oaxaca last year. Abel Manuel Bautista Raymundo, founder and director of Radio Espacio 96.1 FM, was killed on April 14, 2015. The body of Veracruz radio journalist Armando Saldaña Morales was found in the state on May 4. And radio journalist Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento was killed outside his office at La Favorita 103.3 FM on July 2.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.