The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the shooting of Colombian newspaper vendor and occasional contributor José Darío Arenas on 28 September in the city of Caicedonia and called for an investigation into the crime.
According to local media José Darío Arenas was killed because of an article in the edition of, EXTRA del Quindío, the newspaper he was selling. He was the newspaper’s only vendor in Caicedonia.
“An attack on a vendor because of the content of the media is an attack on press freedom,” the Director-General said. “I condemn the murder of José Darío Arenas and urge the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the case. It is important to ensure that the distributors of news enjoy the same safe working conditions we demand for all those working on the gathering of news.”
This is the fourth media worker killed in Colombia over the past year. They are all remembered on the dedicated webpage UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, +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…”