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UNESCO condemns in Chile violence against environmental journalists

Santiago de Chile, May 3 (Prensa Latina) Opening the 31st World Press Freedom Day Conference, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on Friday strongly condemned in Chile the violence against journalists covering environmental issues.

Azoulay referred to UNESCO’s recent report which reveals that 44 environmental reporters have been killed in the last 15 years.

She also mentioned that 70% of journalists interviewed for this study stated they had been attacked while investigating different issues including climate change, illegal mining, resource trafficking and deforestation.

Women are also suffering online harassment, the UNESCO Director-General added.

Azoulay thanked the Chilean government for demonstrating its commitment to UNESCO by hosting this Conference.

In a message to the meeting, the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) António Guterres warned that journalism is becoming a dangerous profession for those covering environmental issues, especially illegal mining. He also called for full support for media workers.

Guterres said he was also shocked by the high number of reporters killed while covering the Gaza Strip.

in 2024, UNESCO has decided to award the Guillermo Cano Prize to Palestinian journalists serving in this territory, subjected to Israeli attacks and bombings that have already caused over 34,500 deaths.

In his speech at the event, Chile´s President Gabriel Boric pointed out that UNESCO poses the need for a press for the planet that can bring light to the dark corners, where climate crisis and pollution are being presented as inexorable destiny.

“We know that the environmental crisis is undeniable, there are some with a lot of power who would like to deny it though, we know that it has identifiable causes and we can fight them and a serious and independent journalism has a central role in this fight,” he said.