The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of Angel Castillo Corona, a columnist for two regional newspapers and press officer of the municipality of Ocuilan.
"I condemn the brutal killing of Angel Castillo Corona,” the Director-General declared. “Sadly, the name of Mr Castillo is but the newest addition to Mexico’s alarmingly long list of victims sacrificed on the altar of freedom of expression. I call on the authorities to spare no effort in pursuing criminals who use violence to curb the media.”
On 4 July, unidentified assailants beat Castillo to death on the highway from Ocuilan to Tiaguistenco. Castillo’s 16-year-old son was also killed in the attack when his father’s attackers ran him over with their car, according to Reporters without Borders. Castillo wrote about local politics for the regional newspapers Puntual and Diario de México.
Castillo is the third journalist killed in Mexico in just one month: Pablo Ruelas Barraza of the Diario del Yaqui in Huatabampo and El Regional de Sonora in Hermosillo was killed in Sonora on 13 June. While his colleague, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, a columnist for the local online daily Notiver, was killed in the east coast city of Veracruz on 20 June.
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…”