Director-General condemns murder of Mexican editor Enrique Perea QuintanillaThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of Mexican crime magazine editor Enrique Perea Quintanilla at Chihuahua in northern Mexico on 9 August.
“I condemn the murder of Enrique Perea Quintanilla,” the Director-General said. “Crimes against journalists and editors constitute a grievous offence against democracy and rule of law as they undermine the freedom of media professionals to inform public debate and participation. I trust,” Mr Matsuura added, “that the special prosecutor appointed to deal with crimes against the press will be able to ensure that the perpetrators of such crimes are brought to justice and that Mexican journalists will be able to carry out their professional duties without fear of reprisals.”
Mr Perea was the editor of Dos Caras, Una Verdad (Two Sides, One Truth), a monthly magazine specialized in reporting on closed murder cases and local drug trafficking. He was found by police on the outskirts of Chihuahua with bullet wounds in the head and in the back.
According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), four Mexican journalists have been killed in direct reprisal for their work in the last five years. The CPJ also says it is investigating the slayings of six other journalists, whose murders may also be related to their work. The organization furthermore reports that two journalists - Alfredo Jiménez Mota of the Hermosillo daily El Imparcial, and Rafael Ortiz Martínez, of the Monclova-based daily Zócalo and host of the local morning news programme Radio Zócalo, have been missing since April and July respectively.
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…”