The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an enquiry into the murder of journalist Manuel Salvador Villagrán Trujillo who was shot on a highway in the Department of Zacapa in eastern Guatemala.
“I condemn the murder of Manuel Salvador Villagrán Trujillo,” the Director-General said. “I trust the authorities will do all that is necessary to hold the perpetrators of this crime to account. Prosecution is essential to deter future attacks against media workers and ensure their ability to inform the public.”
Villagrán Trujillo worked as a reporter for several news media. He was shot on the way to a meeting outside the city of San Jorge on 19 January.
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…”