28 March 2017 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea in the capital of northern Mexican state Chihuahua on 23 March 2017.

Breach Velducea died of her injuries on her way to the hospital after she was shot while leaving her home in her car. She had been reporting from Chihuahua for the national newspaper La Jornada.

“I condemn the murder of Miroslava Breach Velducea,” said the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova. “The use of violence to silence reporting is unacceptable. Fear and hostility are tools of those who wish to curb freedom of expression. Journalists are at the forefront of defending the universal fundamental rights that benefit society, as a whole. The perpetrator of this crime should not remain unpunished.”

Since 1997 UNESCO has released approximately 80 responses to assassinations of journalists in Mexico. In 2016 alone, the UN agency condemned 13 murders of members of the Mexican press.