The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called on the Mexican authorities to spare no effort in investigating the killing of print and social media reporter Cecilio Pineda Birto on 2 March in Altamirano (Mexican state of Guerrero).
“I condemn the murder of Cecilio Pineda Birto,” said the Director-General. “Acts of violence against media workers threaten the profession’s freedom of expression and everybody’s recognized right to freedom of information. I call on the authorities to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators of Cecilio Pineda Birto’s killing to justice.”
Pineda Birto was a contributor to several publications, including the dailies El Universal and La Jornada de Guerrero, and also reported on local issues and crime through a much-followed social media page, for which he received numerous threats. He was killed by two unidentified assailants.
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…”