UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova condemned the murder of journalists Danilo López and Federico Salazar, who were killed in the city of Mazatenango in Guatemala on Tuesday 10 March. The two men were with a group of other journalists in a public plaza when unidentified gunmen opened fire. A third journalist, Marvin Tunches of Canal Óptimo, was wounded in the attack.
“The cold-blooded murder of Danilo Lopez and Federico Salazar must not go unpunished,” the Director-General said. “Press freedom and freedom of expression are backbones to democratic societies, where citizens can count on being kept informed, where they have a voice. Defending these rights means journalists must be able to work without fearing for their lives. Criminals must know that their acts will be punished.”
Danilo Lopez was the local correspondent for Prensa Libre, and Federico Salazar reported for Radio Nuevo Mundo. They were, respectively vice-president and secretary of the recently created Suchitepequez Press Association.
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