Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, today denounced the killing of award-winning journalist Javier Arturo Valdez Cárdenas in Culiacán in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico, on Monday 15 May.
“I condemn the murder of Javier Arturo Valdez Cárdenas,” said the Director-General. “This crime is yet another stark reminder of the dangerous conditions in which all too many courageous journalists exercise their profession and that attacks on them undermine the fundamental human right of freedom expression as well as freedom of information. I call on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that this killing is not left unpunished.”
Valdez was the founder and editor of the weekly Riodoce and a correspondent for other outlets, notably La Jornada daily newspaper and Agence France Presse. In 2011, he received the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award for his reporting on crime and drug trafficking. Valdez was shot near the offices of Riodoce.
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 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…”