The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova today condemned the murder of Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz, a reporter on crime and security for Veracruz newspaper Notiver, and called for strong measures to curb escalating violence against the media in Mexico.
“I condemn the killing of Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz. The latest case in an increasing global trend of women journalists being targetted, which I am deeply concerned about,” the Director-General said. “It is essential that the authorities investigate the alarming number of attacks on reporters in Veracruz and bring their culprits to justice”. She further called on them to spare no effort in guaranteeing journalists’ basic human right of freedom of expression, and the right of people to know what is going on.
Veteran crime and security reporter Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz had been missing since 23 July and was found dead three days later in Boca del Rio, in the state of Veracruz.
Ordaz de la Cruz is the third Notiver journalist to be killed this year, after the murder of columnist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco who was murdered, along with his wife and their son – Notiver crime photographer Misael López Solana - on 20 June in their home.
According to the nongovernmental organization Article 19, five journalists have been murdered in Mexico this year, four of them in the state of Veracruz.
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…”