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Radio journalist murdered in southern Mexico: officials

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists (mural reading in "140 journalists murdered in MX" in Spanish pictured May 2018), as one radio journalist was attacked by gunmen in the town of Juchitan
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists (mural reading in "140 journalists murdered in MX" in Spanish pictured May 2018), as one radio journalist was attacked by gunmen in the town of Juchitan AFP/File
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Mexico City (AFP)

A journalist who founded a community radio station in an indigenous region in southern Mexico was shot dead, the fourth reporter murdered in the country this year, officials said Friday.

Telesforo Santiago Enriquez was attacked by gunmen late Thursday in the town of Juchitan, Oaxaca state, where he founded the radio station El Cafetal.

He had recently received threats in an on-air phone call during his program, where he was known for reporting on corruption by local authorities, his niece told Mexican radio network Formula.

"On the radio waves, Santiago Enriquez expressed his analysis and criticism of the government and recently publicly denounced the municipal authorities for alleged diversion of resources," the National Human Rights Commission, Mexico's ombudsman's office, said in a statement.

Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists: more than 100 have been murdered here since 2000, amid a wave of violence linked to drug trafficking and political corruption.

Watchdog group Reporters Without Borders ranks the country as the third-most-dangerous in the world for the press, after war-torn Afghanistan and Syria.

"This latest murder is a reminder of how dangerous it is to practice journalism in Mexico," the group's Latin America director, Emmanuel Colombie, said in a statement.

Santiago Enriquez's niece, Aida Valencia, said she believed her uncle was killed in retaliation for his work as a journalist.

"They shot him in the mouth and heart," she said.

Santiago Enriquez was also a school teacher, and was known for his work to preserve the region's indigenous languages and traditions, she said.

The murder was confirmed on World Press Freedom Day, when journalists in Mexico typically hold protests against the dangers they face for doing their jobs.

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