The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged an inquiry into the killing of María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, a citizen journalist in the town of Reynosa, Tamaulipas State, as a necessary step to restore media independence and citizens’ right to information.
“I condemn the murder of María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, a brave woman who used social networks to circumvent organized crime groups’ efforts to suppress information about their activities in the media,” the Director-General said. “It is important that the authorities do all in their power to bring those responsible for the killing of Ms Fuentes Rubio to justice, as this could help strengthen media independence and the right of information,” the Director-General added.
María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, who worked as a doctor in a clinic in the city of Reynosa, near the border with Texas (USA), was an active contributor to the Valor por Tamaulipas blog, where she posted danger alerts to citizens and encouraged crime victims to report what happened to them to the police.
After receiving numerous threatening messages through social media, Fuentes Rubio was kidnapped as she was leaving work on 15 October. A picture of her dead body was posted on her social media account the next day.
The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.
Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +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…”