The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an investigation into the shooting on 22 August of Cándido Ríos Vázquez, a Mexican journalist, in the town of Hueyapan de Ocampo in the state of Veracruz.
“I condemn the killing of Cándido Ríos Vázquez,” said the Director-General. “I urge the authorities to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to trial, so as to enhance journalists’ safety and their ability to inform the public without fearing for their lives.”
Ríos was a correspondent for the daily regional newspaper El Diario de Acayucan and had founded a local paper, La Voz de Hueyapan. At the time of his death, he was receiving protection from the Federal programme to safeguard journalists and human rights’ defenders under threat.
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
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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…”