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Director-General condemns murder of Colombian journalist José Everardo Aguilar

04-05-2009 (Paris)
Director-General condemns murder of Colombian journalist José Everardo Aguilar
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koďchiro Matsuura, today condemned the brutal killing of Colombian journalist José Everardo Aguilar in the south western town of Patia, 450 kilometres south of the capital Bogotá, on 24 April.
“I condemn the assassination of veteran reporter José Everardo Aguilar,” said the Director-General. “No democracy can allow guns to silence debate and I am confident that the authorities will spare no effort in pursuing the perpetrators of this crime that affects Colombian society as a whole. This is all the more urgent as increasing attacks on journalists threaten to jeopardize the fundamental human right of freedom of expression in Colombia.”

Seventy-two year old José Everardo Aguilar was an outspoken critic of corruption in his work as a radio reporter. According to the Federation of Journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean (FEPALC) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), he had received continuous threats for denouncing several corruption cases but refused to be silenced.

A reporter for several radio stations, including Bolívar Estéreo and Canal Local del Bordo, José Everardo Aguilar, who was also the correspondent of Radio Súper Popayán, was shot dead at close range in his home.

According to FEPALC, there have been 40 attacks against Colombian journalists since the start of 2009.

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…”
Related themes/countries

      · Colombia
      · Press Freedom: News Archives 2009
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists: News Archives 2009
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