Twenty-one days into 2019, Mexico recorded the first murder of a journalist who ran a community radio station in Baja California Sur. The reporter recently claimed to be the target of threats directed by a local mayor.
On Sunday night, the attorney general’s office in Baja California Sur confirmed the death of 34-year-old Rafael Murua Manriquez, whose body had “various perforations in the thorax region.” Near the corpse, authorities reportedly found three packages of marijuana, SinEmbargo reported.
Murua Manriquez was the general director of Radio Kashana, a community station based in Santa Rosalia, which reported on human rights, gender issues, alternative lifestyles, reproductive health, and ecology.
More recently, Murua Manriquez called out local governments for alleged corrupt activities and abuses, his Facebook posts revealed. The journalist claimed on November 14 he received threats at the behest of Mulege mayor Felipe Prado Bautista.
The press freedom organization Article 19 documented Murua Manriquez’s disappearance on Sunday, hours before his body was found.
⚠️#ÚltimaHora: ARTICLE 19 tiene conocimiento de la desaparición del director de la radio comunitaria Radiokashana, Rafael Murua Manríquez, en Santa Rosalía, BCS, este domingo 20 de enero. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/9FWPwJ7HWF
— ARTICLE 19 MX-CA (@article19mex) January 21, 2019
Murua Manriquez was last seen on Saturday in downtown Santa Rosalia. Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the case. This is the third murder of a journalist since Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) took office in December. Mexico continues to be one of the most dangerous places for reporters to openly operate. In 2018, Breitbart News reported on the murders of 19 journalists and support staff. Most of the crimes remain unsolved.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.