Director-General condemns assassination of Mexican newspaper editor Raúl Gibb GuerreroThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of Raúl Gibb Guerrero, editor of regional daily newspaper La Opinión published in the north of the Mexican state of Veracruz.
“I condemn the killing of Raúl Gibb Guerrero,” the Director-General declared. “I trust that the authorities will do all in their power to find and prosecute the perpetrators of this crime, which is a serious attack on press freedom and freedom of expression, which are essential to democracy and rule of law.”
Mr Gibb was gunned down on his way home on the evening of April 8 in Papantla. The International Freedom of Expression Exchange alert network (IFEX) quote press reports linking the murder to La Opinión’s frequent articles on drug trafficking and corruption.
The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and the press freedom organization Reporters Without Border, among others, have voiced outrage at two other recent acts of violence against the Mexican press, speaking of a deterioration in press freedom in the country.
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…”