Press release

Director-General condemns murder of journalist Orlando Villanueva in Guatemala

UNESCO Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay has condemned the killing of online journalist Orlando Villanueva who was shot dead by unknown individuals in a public sport facility in Puerto Barrios, a city in northeastern Guatemala, on 8 March.
I condemn the murder of Orlando Villanueva. I urge the authorities to investigate this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice. This is essential to prevent further violent crimes targeting press freedom and journalists’ ability to carry out their work.
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay UNESCO Director-General

Villanueva frequently denounced corruption in local news reports on Noticias del Puerto, a website he owned, and Facebook. He had previously faced threats in connection with his journalism and his house is said to have been raided by police after he reported on police violence in 2021.

UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.


See also: UNESCO observatory of killed journalists

Media contact: Guilherme Canela de Souza Godoi