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Murdered radio journalist is the third killed in Mexico in 2015

This is a translation of a statement originally published on articulo19.org on 2 July 2015.

Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento, a radio commentator and director for the station La Favorita 103.3 FM in Miahuatlán, Oaxaca, was killed on the morning of 2 July 2015. According to people who were close to him, as well as his own writing on social media, he had received death threats in June.

In an interview with ARTICLE 19, Horacio Corro, director of Viral Noticias and a friend of Filadelfo, revealed that Filadelfo and his colleagues at La Favorita 103.3 FM had been targeted in the past. According to Corro, Filadelfo had received numerous death threats. Corro, who reports on politics in Miahuatlán, particularly the local government, said that he had reported on the La Favorita journalists because they were constantly getting threats.

Corro also said that in October 2014, Chevedo Blas, a La Favorita team member, received a death threat from Marco Ramírez, the brother of the local mayor in Miahuatlán. “He pulled a knife on me and said that he would kill me if I kept badmouthing his brother.” Last year, some of the station's other journalists were assaulted.

Oaxaca is one of the most dangerous places to be a journalist in Mexico. So far in 2015, ARTICLE 19 has documented at least 20 incidents against journalists in the state. On 14 April 2015, Abel Manuel Bautista Raymundo, commentator and director of Radio Spacio 96.1, was shot to death in Juxtlahuaca; while on 4 May 2015 the body of Armando Saldaña Morales, who worked for Ke Buena 100.9 FM, was found in Cosolapa, on the border with Veracruz.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the Oaxaca state Attorney General to carry out a prompt and effective investigation, considering the professional work of Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento as the likely motive, and without ruling out the possible involvement of municipal authorities in the crime.

Additionally, ARTICLE 19 calls on municipal and state authorities to provide the necessary safety measure for the rest of the La Favorita team, so that they may continue exercising their right to freedom of expression without risk to their physical safety.

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