Director-General urges thorough investigation into killing of Brazilian citizen journalist Marcos de Barros Leopoldo Guerra

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of Marcos de Barros Leopoldo Guerra, a citizen journalist, in the town of Ubatuba (Brazil) on 23 December.

“I condemn the murder of Marcos de Barros Leopoldo Guerra and I trust that the Brazilian authorities will conduct a thorough investigation into this killing,” the Director-General said. “Attacks on journalists pose a grave threat to freedom of expression and freedom of information. Such crimes cannot be allowed to go unpunished.”

Two unidentified attackers shot the 51-year-old lawyer and journalist while he was in his home last Tuesday. In his blog, Ubatuba Cobra, Barros Leopoldo Guerra reported on local affairs and denounced alleged cases of corruption.

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…”