The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has deplored the killing of Víctor Manuel Báez Chino, a Mexican crime journalist whose dead body was found in Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz state on 14 June.
“I am deeply concerned about the murder of Víctor Manuel Báez Chino, and call on the authorities to ensure that this crime against freedom of expression, a fundamental human right, does not go unpunished. All too many brave Mexican journalists have been paying with their lives for society’s right to be kept informed. The impunity enjoyed by their murderers must be brought to an end.”
Báez covered crime for the local digital edition of the weekly Milenio and edited a crime reporters’ website, Reporteros Policiaos. The journalist is reported to have been kidnapped by three men as he left his office on the evening of 13 June.
According to Reporters without Borders the body of Báez was found the next day with a note signed by the criminal syndicate Los Zetas which claimed responsibility for the killing.
The 28 journalists who have been killed in Mexico since 2009 are remembered in the dedicated webpage UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.
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…”