The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend press freedom has condemned the murder of Venezuelan newspaper columnist Wilfred IvÃ¡n Ojeda, and urged authorities to investigate the crime.
Mr. Ojeda, 56, was a columnist for the El ClarÃn daily and a Democratic Action party activist. He was discovered in a vacant lot, shot in the head, in the city of La Victoria on 17 May.
I urge the authorities to investigate this crime which affects society`s ability to enjoy the basic human right of freedom of expression and the democratic right to engage in open political debate, " Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a news release issued yesterday.
UNESCO notes that, according to local journalists, Mr. Ojeda`s columns focused on local politics and were not considered harsh.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-governmental organization (NGO), says that three journalists have been killed for their work in Venezuela since 2002. Three others are reported to have been killed in the country over the same period, but the motives for their killing are still the subject of investigation by the committee.