Director-General urges investigation into murder of television owner and broadcaster Reynaldo Paz Mayes in Honduras

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of broadcaster Reynaldo Paz Mayes in the Honduran city of Comayagua on 15 December. Ms Bokova also called for a thorough investigation into the case.

“I condemn the murder of Reynaldo Paz Mayes,” the Director-General said. “The authorities must investigate this crime, establish its motives, and bring its perpetrators to justice. This is important for all members of Honduran society who, like people everywhere, require free, diverse and independent media to make well informed decisions.”

Reynaldo Paz Meyes, the founder of a small local television channel, RPM TV Canal 28, was shot dead while exercising in an outdoor sport complex on Monday. Paz Meyes, who also hosted news programmes on his television channel, was reported to have received anonymous death threats over a long period of time.

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…”