Activist killed on air | radioinfo

Activist killed on air

Two gunmen shoved their way into a Mexican radio studio in the state of Sinaloa and opened fire on a local activist, killing him while he was broadcasting. It was the first on-air killing in recent memory in Mexico.
 
Listeners heard the gunshot that killed Atilano Roman Tirado, who had a weekly radio program as well as leading a group of farm families displaced by a dam.
 
Station director Sergio Ontiveros said: "On air you could hear when the shot is fired, and then one of the co-workers is heard saying, 'Oh no, he killed him, he killed him.' That is when the transmission cut off ... The station operator dove to the floor and kicked out the master cable” 
 

The Fiesta Mexicana station in the Pacific coast city of Mazatlan was off air for about a half hour, and was operated remotely over the weekend before resuming normal operations on the Monday morning. The station has no security cameras.
 
Roman Tirado was a leader of about 800 families demanding compensation for being displaced by the Picachos dam.
 
In past years, the movement had staged blockades and protest marches, which had resulted in some arrests. Ontiveros said Roman Tirado focused on the land dispute and other news in his program, "Asi es mi Tierra" which roughly means "That's how my land is."
 
The government gave houses to people whose villages were flooded by the construction of the Picachos dam, which started in 2006. However, the dwellings were tiny, shack-like structures.
 
Attacks on radio stations are rare in Mexico, though print journalists and photographers have frequently been the victims of attacks and killings.
 
 

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