Director-General condemns murder of Venezuelan journalist Jesús Flores RojasThe Director-General of UNESCO, Koďchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of Venezuelan journalist Jesús Flores Rojas who was shot dead in El Tigre in eastern Venezuela on 23 August.
“I condemn the assassination of Jesús Flores Rojas,” said the Director-General. “The killing of journalists is an unacceptable attack on democracy and rule of law which depend on media professionals’ ability to exercise the basic human right of freedom of expression to inform public debate.
“I trust,” Mr Matsuura concluded, “that the authorities will spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice in the interest of Venezuelan society as a whole.”
Mr Flores Rojas, coordinator of the correspondents' office of the El Tigre newspaper Región and a columnist for other print media in the area, received eight shots to the head as he was parking his car in his garage at home. In his articles, he frequently denounced alleged acts of corruption in the local public administration.
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…”