Director-General condemns murder of journalist Dorance Herrera in Colombia

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of Dorance Herrera, a Colombian journalist in the municipality of Caucasia on 23 November.

“I condemn the murder of Dorance Herrera,” the Director-General said. “Guns may silence the voice of one journalist, but they cannot deafen the call by people everywhere for a free, independent and pluralistic press. To deter those who attack journalists and media workers, I call on the authorities to investigate this crime and bring its perpetrators swiftly to trial.”

Dorance Herrera wrote for several local print media, including Región al Dia, Bajo Cauca Hoy, and El Informativo. He was shot by unidentified men.

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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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…”