Director-General Condemns Murder of Paraguayan Radio Broadcaster Marcelino Vázquez
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called for an investigation into the killing of Marcelino Vázquez, the owner and manager of Radio Sin Fronteras 98.5 FM in Pedro Juan Caballero, the capital of the Paraguayan Department of Amambay, on the border with Brazil.
“I condemn the murder of Marcelino Vázquez,” the Director-General said. “It is essential that the culprits of this crime be brought to justice. Freedom of expression, recognized as a basic human right, depends on the ability of media managers and workers to work in conditions of reasonable safety.”
Marcelino Vázquez, 54, was shot dead on 6 February as he was leaving his radio station, described as a music station that also broadcasts news and opinion programmes about a wide range of subjects. He was headed towards a nearby discotheque which he also owned at the time of his killing.
This is first murder to target a Paraguayan media organization in recent years. Marcelino Vázquez is remembered in the dedicated UNESCO site, UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.
UNESCO is the 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…”
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