Director-General calls for investigation into murder of Guatemalan journalist Luis Alberto Lemus

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged the authorities to investigate the killing of journalist and media owner Luis Alberto Lemus who was shot dead on 7 April in Jutiapa, Guatemala.

“I condemn the killing of Luis Alberto Lemus,” the Director-General said. “I trust the authorities will investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. Attacks on media workers pose a threat to freedom of expression and press freedom, which plays an essential role in democracy and good governance.”

Luis Alberto Lemus, was the Vice-President of the Jutiapa Journalists Association (APJ). He produced a weekly news programme that was broadcast on two stations he owned, Radio Stereo Café, and the local cable television, Café TV.

Lemus had served as Jutiapa’s governor from 2008 to 2010 and had run three times for mayor of the nearby municipality of Moyuta without success.

The killing of Lemus, three weeks after the murder of Jaime Napoleón Jarquín Duarte, is the second fatal attack on a journalist in Guatemala this year. He is remembered in the dedicated UNESCO page, UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.


Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at), +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

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…”