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Director-General condemns murder of Guatemalan journalist Marco Antonio Estrada

18-06-2009 (Paris)
Director-General condemns murder of Guatemalan journalist Marco Antonio Estrada
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of Guatemalan television reporter Marco Antonio Estrada who was killed on 6 June in the eastern city of Chiquimula.
“I condemn the murder of Marco Antonio Estrada,” the Director-General declared. “I am concerned about the effects of escalating violence against journalists in Guatemala and its negative impact on the quality of reporting. It is essential that those responsible for such crimes be brought to justice, to ensure respect for the inalienable right of freedom of expression and people’s access to information.”

“Marco Antonio Estrada, a 39-year-old general news reporter for the national broadcaster Channel 3 TV, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman on a street in Chiquimula, where he covered organized crime and drug trafficking among other subjects.

There have been reports of increased violence connected to organized crime in Guatemala over recent years, creating a generalized climate of fear, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

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

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