Good and bad news from Mexico
The CIPO-RFM media project in Oaxaca, Mexico, provides an important service for the indigenous people in the region. Their exposure of the conflict in the region provides some kind of protection from attacks by armed paramilitaries. LFB committee's Guy Smallman follows the money the Branch gave in September.
I received confirmation in February that our donation of £500 was safely transferred and became 10,594.73 Mexican pesos. I spoke to a representative of CIPO-RFM who has reported that so far money has been spent on a faster, more reliable internet connection for their media office, some radio equipment for one of their more remote projects and an upgrade for one of their transmitters. They have a fair bit left to extend their media network. They again send their heartfelt thanks.
However, I also have some bad news from the state of Oaxaca, where CIPO-RFM is based. On 7 April Thereasa Bautista-Merino (24) and Felictas Martinez-Sanchez (20) where murdered while travelling from an indigenous radio project where they worked to a "peoples' forum". Three others, including a child, were injured in the ambush, almost certainly carried out by rightwing paramilitaries. Police have recovered 200 shell cases from the scene. Although not part of CIPO-RFM, the victims were doing very similar media work in the same part of Mexico. This event certainly underlines the dangers which our friends over there are facing.