Director-General condemns killing of Honduran journalists Jacobo Montoya Ramírez, Juan Carlos Cruz Andara and Joel Aquiles Torres

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of three journalists in Honduras and reiterated that crimes against media workers cannot be allowed to go unpunished.

“I condemn the killing of Jacobo Montoya Ramírez, Juan Carlos Cruz Andara and Joel Aquiles Torres,” the Director-General said. “Using violence to silence journalists cannot be tolerated because it is also an attack on society as a whole. I call on the authorities to end impunity for crimes against journalists and ensure that their perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Juan Carlos Cruz Andara, a reporter with the TV broadcaster Teleport, was found stabbed to death in his home in the northern city of Puerto Cortés on 23 June approximately five months after reporting to the police that he had received a death threat.

Broadcast journalist Jacobo Montoya Ramírez was gunned down in his home in the western town of Copán Ruinas on 25 June.

Joel Aquiles Torres, owner of local TV station Canal 67, was shot dead while driving his car in Taulabe in the department of Comayagua on 3 of July.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

                                                ****

Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”