UNESCO chief condemns murder of Mexican magazine editor

17 August 2006

Continuing his campaign to draw the world’s attention to threats against freedom of the press, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the killing of the editor of a Mexican magazine.

Continuing his campaign to draw the world’s attention to threats against freedom of the press, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the killing of the editor of a Mexican magazine.

The body of Enrique Perea Quintanilla was found on the outskirts of the northern city of Chihuahua on 9 August with bullet wounds to the head and back. Mr. Perea was the editor of Dos Caras, Una Verdad (Two Sides, One Truth), a monthly magazine focusing on local drug trafficking and closed murder cases.

“Crimes against journalists and editors constitute a grievous offence against democracy and rule of law,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura in a statement released in Paris. “They undermine the freedom of media professionals to inform public debate and participation.”

“I trust that the special prosecutor appointed to deal with crimes against the press will be able to ensure that the perpetrators or such crimes are brought to justice and that Mexican journalists will be able to carry out their professional duties without fear of reprisals,” Mr. Matsuura added.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), four Mexican journalists have been killed in the past five years in direct reprisal for their work. The CPJ is also investigating the slayings of six other journalists, whose murders may be related to their work. Two journalists are currently missing. One was abducted last month and the other in April.

Mr. Matsuura has recently condemned a wave of murders of journalists in Iraq, as well as killings of members of the press in China, Russia and Brazil.

 

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