The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today expressed indignation at the murder of Mexican crime reporter Marco Antonio Ávila García and urged the authorities to take every possible measure to stop the assassinations that have been besetting the media in the country.
“I condemn the murder of Marco Antonio Ávila García ,” the Director-General said. “The number of murders in the ranks of the Mexican media has reached such alarming proportions that it seriously undermines freedom of expression and democracy in the country. Impunity cannot be allowed to prevail and I urge the authorities to take every necessary step to bring his assassins to trial,” Ms Bokova cautioned.
Marco Antonio Ávila García, 39, was a reporter for two local daily newspapers, El Regional de Sonora and Diario Sonora de la Tarde, and was based in Ciudad Obregón, in the state of Sonora.
His dead body was found wrapped in a plastic bag on a dirt road in Ciudad Obregón on 18 May, one day after he had been reported missing.
Ávila’s assassination brings to ten the total number of journalists murdered in the country over the past 18 months. They are remembered in the dedicated UNESCO web page.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, +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…”