The murder of Colombian radio station director and journalist Luis Carlos Cervantes by three unidentified gunmen was condemned by UNESCO’s director-general, Irina Bokova. Cervantes had reported on organized crime and corruption, and had previously faced numerous death threats.
“I condemn the murder of Luis Carlos Cervantes in the strongest terms, and call on the Colombian authorities to do everything possible to bring the authors of this crime to justice,” said Bokova.
“The killing of a journalist is not only a terrible crime against an individual—it is a threat to whole societies, and their right to information and freedom of expression.”
The murder took place August 12 in Tarazá, Northwestern Colombia. A government-appointed bodyguard, assigned to Cervantes due to the death threats he had received, was withdrawn two weeks before the murder in a belief that Cervantes was no longer in danger.
The director-general reiterated UNESCO’s Resolution 29 that deals with the killing of media professionals.
By Day Blakely Donaldson