UNESCO Director-General condemns murder of Mexican photographer Jaime Arturo Overa BravoThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of Jaime Arturo Olvera Bravo, a freelance press photographer who was shot on Thursday, 9 March, in La Piedad, in the state of Michoacán, in Mexico.
“I condemn the murder of Jaime Arturo Olvera Bravo,” the Director-General declared. “I welcome news that the special prosecutor for crimes against journalists has already opened an enquiry into this crime, to determine whether Mr Olvera’s murder was related to his work.” “I want to express my satisfaction to Mexican authorities for the creation of the post of ‘Special Prosecutor for crimes against journalists’ in response to a wave of violence against press in the country.”
The CPJ reports that four Mexican journalists have been killed in direct reprisal for their work in the last five years and that another reporter - Alfredo Jiménez Mota of the Hermosillo daily El Imparcial - has been missing since last April and is feared dead.
Mr Olvera, a freelance photographer and former correspondent for the Morelia-based daily La Voz de Michoacán, was shot by an unknown gunman while waiting for a bus with his five-year-old son on Thursday evening. His son was not hurt. Mr Olvera provided photographs and crime tips to local media on a free-lance basis.
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…”