Mexican journalist shot dead

Lucy Bush
May 18, 2017

A well-known reporter who built his career documenting the inner workings of drug cartels was killed in the Mexican state of Sinaloa Monday afternoon, the latest victim of anti-press violence in what has become one of the world's deadliest countries for journalists.

Javier Valdez was leaving his office at Riodoce, the weekly magazine he co-founded in Culiacan, a city in northwestern Sinaloa state.

Authorities in Mexico searched Tuesday for gunmen who fatally shot an award-winning journalist and Agence France-Presse contributor who reported on the country's violent drug gangs. "We condemn the Culiacán killing of Javier Valdez, Riodoce director, exemplary journalist, integral man, committed to his country", he wrote.

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Valdez is now the fifth journalist killed in Mexico in just over two months. "He never talked about it so as not to drag people into it", Rafael Valdez told the AFP news agency. Quoted in La Jornada, Amnesty International Mexico declared that "to be a journalist in Mexico seems more like a death sentence than a profession".

"We don't know who ordered it and who carried it out, but we do know that organized crime is directly responsible for this", Sicairos said. "You have to fight to change things'". According to the Associated Press, experts say that Guzman's arrest previous year and extradition in January have led to upheaval in the area as rival factions war for control of the gang.

Sinaloa has always been a drug trafficking hotbed and is home to the Sinaloa Cartel headed by notorious kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who is in a NY prison awaiting trial on multiple charges.

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Mexico is one of the most risky places to be a journalist, with the vast majority of attacks on the press unpunished. The 50-year-old journalist was the recipient of the International Press Freedom Award given by the Committee to Protect Journalists in 2011. After the third journalist, Miroslava Breach, was murdered in 2017, he tweeted: "Kill us all, if that is the sentence for reporting on this hell".

He revealed that investigators and forensic specialists from Mexico's prosecutor-general's office were on their way to help in the inquiry. Ricardo Sanchez Perez del Pozo, a lawyer with a background in global law and human rights, took over the post.

"Javier showed extreme courage by spending years investigating the powerful drug cartels in Mexico, knowing that he was risking his life in doing so".

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Other reports by Info About Network

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