UNESCO Director-General condemns murder of another journalist in Mexico
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, condemned the murder of Mexican journalist Evaristo Pacheco Solis. His body was found on 12 March near Chilpancingo, capital of the south-western state of Guerrero.
"I condemn the murder of Evaristo Pacheco Solis, which highlights once again the considerable danger faced by journalists in regions where criminal organizations are attempting to impose their law," declared Ms Bokova. "I call on the authorities and law enforcers of Mexico to increase their efforts to improve security conditions and lessen the risk for journalists in the country."
Evaristo Pacheco Solis, 33, was a reporter with the weekly Visión Informativa. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is trying to establish whether his killing was linked to his work as a journalist. In late January, another journalist, Jorge Ochoa Martinez, director of two local publications, was murdered in similar circumstances in Guerrero.
Four journalists have been killed in Mexico this year and 13 in 2009, according to the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), which notes that violence linked to organized crime is spiralling in the country. "There can be no doubt that we face one of the most tragic moments in the history of the Latin American press," stated IAPA president Alejandro Aguirre.
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..."
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