Director-General denounces killing of Mexican radio journalist Atilano Román

24 October 2015

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged an investigation into the killing of Mexican broadcaster and community leader Atilano Román in Mazatlán, northwest Mexico, on 11 October 2014.

“I condemn the killing of Atilano Román and call on the authorities to spare no effort to bring those responsible for this terrible crime to justice,” the Director-General said. “Violence against media professionals creates a climate of fear and silences journalists -- this must be stopped  in the interest of Mexican society as a whole,” Ms Bokova concluded.

Two men killed Atilano Román in the studio of Fiesta Mexicana radio as he was hosting his weekly live broadcast, Así es mi tierra (such is my land). Román was also the leader of a movement of about 800 local farming families whose land was flooded when Picachos dam was built in Sinaloa state in 2007.

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.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 1 45 68 08 91

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…”