The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the murder of radio journalist Luz Marina Paz Villalobos and a man who was with her in a car in Tegucigalpa (Honduras) on 6 December. The Director-General also urged the authorities to protect freedom of expression in the country.
“I condemn the murder of Luz Marina Paz Villalobos and the man she was with,” Irina Bokova declared. “Paz Villalobos is the first woman on the all too long list of Honduran journalists murdered since 2010. I call on the authorities to take urgent action to bring the culprits of these crimes to justice and protect the basic human right of freedom of expression. Violence must not be allowed to stifle informed democratic debate and rule of law.”
Luz Marina Paz Villalobos, a journalist with Cadena Hondureña de Noticias, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle. According to the Reporters without Borders, Paz Villalobos is the first woman on the list of 17 journalists killed in Honduras since the beginning of 2010.
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…”