Director-General condemns killing of Mexican journalist Amado Ramirez
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned murder of Amado Ramirez, the Acapulco correspondent of the Televisa broadcasting network.
"I condemn the cowardly murder of Amado Ramirez," the Director-General said. "Mr Ramirez appears to have been a victim of Mexican journalists' commitment to report about the crime and I am confident that the authorities will do all they can to protect journalists who are in the frontline of the war for human rights and rule and law."
Amado Ramirez was shot three times in the back by unknown gunmen on 8 April. There have been 12 other reports of similar execution-style assassinations throughout Mexico recently. According to the International Federation of Journalists, eight reporters were killed in a wave of violence against investigative journalism in Mexico last year.
UNESCO is the only 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..."