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UNESCO HEAD CONDEMNS MEXICAN JOURNALIST’S KILLING

By UN

25 January - The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the killing of a Mexican radio reporter who focused on crime, calling on authorities to do their utmost to bring those behind the attack to justice.

José Luis Romero, who worked for Radio Linea Directa in the western state of Sinaloa, was abducted at gunpoint from a restaurant in the city of Los Mochis on 30 December.

Reportedly shot in the head and shoulder with his hands and legs broken, his body was found more than two weeks later in a black bag near the city.

The journalist, “like all too many reporters in Mexico, has paid with his life for our right to be kept informed,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

He is the second Mexican journalist to be killed this year, while at least 11 media professionals were murdered in the country last year, most of whom had been covering drug trafficking and crime, according to the International Press Institute, a non-governmental organization.

“The use of force to muzzle reporters constitutes an unacceptable attack on the basic human right of freedom of expression and on society's right to enjoy press freedom, a cornerstone of democracy and rule of law,” Ms. Bokova underscored.