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Director-General condemns the murder of Mexican journalist José Luis Romero

Paris, 25 January

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of José Luis Romero whose dead body was found on 16 January.

“I condemn the murder of José Luis Romero,” the Director-General said. “José Luis Romero, like all too many reporters in Mexico, has paid with his life for our right to be kept informed. I trust that the Mexican authorities will spare no effort in bringing those responsible for these crimes to justice. The use of force to muzzle reporters constitutes an unacceptable attack on the basic human right of freedom of expression and on society’s right to enjoy press freedom, a cornerstone of democracy and rule of law.”

José Luis Romero was a crime reporter for Radio Linea Directa in the province of Sinaloa. He was abducted at gunpoint from a restaurant in Los Mochis on 30 December and his body was found more than two weeks later in a black bag near the city. He is reported to have been shot in the head and shoulder and his hands and legs were broken.

According to the International Press Institute, José Luis Romero is the second Mexican journalist to be killed this year. IPI says that at least 11 journalists were murdered in the country last year; most of them had been covering drug trafficking and crime.

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…”

  • Author(s):Press Release N°2010-09
  • 25-01-2010
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