United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Director-General condemns the murder of Mexican newspaper editor Misael Tamayo Hernández

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koďchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of Misael Tamayo Hernández, the editor of the regional daily newspaper El Despertar de la Costa in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.

“I condemn the murder of Misael Tamayo Hernández,” the Director-General said. “I am deeply concerned about the increase of violence against journalists in Mexico and trust that the authorities will do all they can to ensure respect for freedom of expression, a basic human right that is the foundation of democracy. To this end, the perpetrators of such crimes must be brought to justice.”

Misael Tamayo Hernández, the editor of regional daily, El Despertar de la Costa, was found dead in a motel room in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo in the southern state of Guerrero on 10 November. Reporters without Borders (RSF) reports a possible link between the murder and El Despertar de la Costa’s investigative reports on drug trafficking. According to RSF, this murder brings to seven the number of journalists killed or missing in Mexico since the start of 2006 and confirms it as the western hemisphere’ deadliest country for the press.

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 the Organization is requested 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…”

Source Press Release N°2006-139
Publication Date 16 Nov 2006
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