UNESCO chief condemns killing of Mexican journalist, urges investigation

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

New York, 2 February 2015 – The head of the United Nations agency mandated to defend press freedom today denounced the assassination of Moisés Sánchez Cerezo, a Mexican journalist recently found murdered weeks after his disappearance.

“His killing is an unacceptable attack on journalism, a profession that embodies the right of freedom of expression, which is indispensable to democracy,” lamented Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in a press release issued earlier today.

“I call on the Mexican authorities to shed light on this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice.”

Moisés Sánchez Cerezo’s body was discovered on 24 January, three weeks after he was abducted from his home by armed men who also confiscated his computer, camera and mobile phone.

As owner and editor of the weekly magazine, La Unión, Mr. Sánchez Cerezo regularly denounced problems of insecurity in the Mexican city of Medellin de Bravo, in the state of Veracruz.

Mr. Sánchez Cerezo’s death comes amid a deteriorating security situation across Mexico in which numerous journalists and activists have lost their lives.

In a report released in March 2014, UNESCO stressed the growing trend of media workers being killed around the world. Focusing on the latest challenges affecting media development and freedom of expression, the report, called “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development,” noted that more than 430 journalists were killed between 2007 and 2012.