Murder of Mexican activist caught on live radio program

Listeners of the Fiesta Mexicana radio program in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, heard the gunfire that killed Mexican activist, Atilano Roman Tirado. During the…

Atilano Roman Tirado was killed while talking on a radio show in Sinaloa. (oronegro.mx/)

Listeners of the Fiesta Mexicana radio program in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, heard the gunfire that killed Mexican activist, Atilano Roman Tirado.

During the radio station’s live broadcast, two gunmen forced their way into the studio and shot Roman Tirado, host of a weekly radio program and local activist.

Roman Tirado was a leader of a group of farm families that had recently been misplaced by the Picachos dam.

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In 2006, construction began on the Picachos dam, which resulted in widespread floods that destroyed hundreds of homes. While the government distributed houses to families that had lost their homes because of the dam’s flooding, most of the houses were little more than shacks.

Roman Tirado took it upon himself to demand that these 800-some families received appropriate compensation for the loss of the land and their homes.

On his talk show, Roman Tirado often discussed the land dispute and other local news, which may have ruffled some feathers.

“He was militant in his commentaries, he was critical, very critical,” station director Sergio Ontiveros told the Associated Press Monday. “His situation almost demanded that of him.”

While Roman Tirado’s movement had begun to fade from the spotlight over the years, the leaders, like Roman Tirado, received numerous death threats at the height of the movement.

The activist was immersed in his radio talk show on the Fiesta Mexicana station in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, when he was murdered.

“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,’” said Ontiveros.

The two gunmen violently forced their way into the studio, and one gunman waited outside the studio while the other entered and executed the hit on Roman Tirado.

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It didn’t take long for the employees at the radio station to realize what had happened. The station operator quickly pulled out the master cable and cut off the transmission, and the station was completely off-air for about half an hour.

Over the weekend following the shooting, the radio station was operated remotely, but went back to its regular operations on Monday.

Roman Tirado was shot once in the head and once in the chest. He died at a local hospital shortly after the shooting.

Sinaloa Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez has assured that the murder will not go unpunished.