UNESCO Director-General condemns murder of Mexican journalist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today condemned the murder of Mexican newspaper columnist Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco and his family in the eastern city of Veracruz on 20 June.
“It is with great concern about the high number of journalists attacked and killed in Mexico that I condemn the shocking murder of Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco and his family,” the Director-General said. “Such barbaric attempts to silence the media – and by extension the voices of citizens and communities - must be firmly condemned and punished. We must stand clearly alongside those courageous journalists who, at great risk to themselves and those close to them, are working to keep citizens informed about the forces and events influencing their society. I strongly urge the Mexican authorities to thoroughly investigate this heinous crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Miguel Angel Lopez Velasco, his wife, Augustina Solano, and their 21-year old son, Misael, were killed by unidentified assailants in their home in the early morning of 20 June.
The deputy director of the Veracruz daily Notiver, Velasco wrote a column about security, drug trafficking and corruption. ARTICLE 19, a human rights organisation, reports that Misael Lopez Velasco was a photographer who accompanied his father on shoots involving police and public safety.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 13 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2010.
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…”
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