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Director-General condemns killing of photojournalist and documentary film-maker Christian Poveda in El Salvador

09-09-2009 (Paris)
Director-General condemns killing of photojournalist and documentary film-maker Christian Poveda in El Salvador
Christian Poveda
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the killing of Franco-Spanish photojournalist and documentary film-maker Christian Poveda who was shot dead in El Salvador on 2 September.
“I condemn the killing of Christian Poveda,” the Director-General declared. “Cristian Poveda was a committed chronicler of our times and it is a tragedy that he was made to pay for his professional commitment with his life. I trust that the investigations already launched into this crime will bear fruit and that those who prevented Christian Poveda from exercising his basic human right of freedom of speech and the right of us all to be informed will be brought to trial.”

Christian Poveda, 52, a citizen of France and Spain, was shot dead in Tonacatepeque, about 10 miles (15 kilometers) from the capital, San Salvador. According to the Salvadoran press, Tonacatepeque is a fiefdom of a street gang, Mara 18, about which Christian Poveda had just finished making a film, La Vida Loca.

During repeated visits over 30 years, the photojournalist and film-maker documented violence in El Salvador. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), journalists covering gang violence in El Salvador and elsewhere in Latin America have become targets and, it says, security concerns prevent in-depth reporting on the origins and causes of gang violence.

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 purpose the Organization is required 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

      · El Salvador
      · Press Freedom
      · UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists
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