Following the killing of award-winning Mexican journalist Javier Arturo Valdez Cárdenas, the head of the United Nations cultural agency today encouraged the country’s authorities to move quickly to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure the killing does not go unpunished.
A winner of the International Press Freedom Award, Mr. Valdez Cárdenas was shot yesterday in Culiacán in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
“This crime is yet another stark reminder of the dangerous conditions in which all too many courageous journalists exercise their profession,” said Irina Bokova the Director-General of the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a statement condemning the murder.
She went on to emphasize that attacks on journalists “undermine the fundamental human right of freedom expression as well as freedom of information.”
Mr. Valdez Cárdenas reported extensively on the Mexican drug trade and he received the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award for his reporting on crime and drug trafficking. According to UNESCO, he was shot near the offices of Riodoce, the weekly he founded and edited. HE was also a correspondent for other outlets, notably La Jornada daily newspaper and Agence France Presse.
According to UNESCO, Ms. Bokova has denounced the killings of three other Mexican journalists so far this year. Since 1997 UNESCO has released approximately 80 responses to assassinations of journalists in the North American country.