The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the murder of broadcast journalist Carlos Alberto Orellana Chávez, who was shot dead on 19 August some 50 kilometres south of Mazatenango, in the south of Guatemala.
“I condemn the murder of Carlos Alberto Orellana Chávez,” the Director-General declared. “I call on the authorities to do everything possible to shed light on this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice.”
Carlos Alberto Orellana Chávez, 66, hosted a news programme on Optimo 23 cable television after having directed Radio Victoria over 25 years. According to Reporters Without Borders, he was shot down as he was driving to work some 50 kilometres from Mazatenango, the provincial capital of Suchitepequez, in the south of the country. His car was found along with his wallet and ID.
Orellana Chávez is the third journalist in Guatemala whose murder has been condemned by UNESCO. All of UNESCO’s condemnations are available online
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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…”