Another journalist killed as Mexico struggles to contain violence

Jerome Frank
May 16, 2017

Valdez was the fifth journalist killed this year in a country plagued by drug violence and corruption, according to officials and media rights groups.

Javier Valdez, 50, was shot near the premises of Riodoce, a Mexican news weekly he founded, in his hometown of Culiacan in northwestern Sinaloa state, the source said.

Website sinembargo.mx reported that several bullet casings had been found at the crime scene, and that authorities had not yet issued official information about the murder.

Valdez also contributed dispatches to the national daily La Jornada and published a book past year about the dangers facing journalists who report honestly on the rampant crime and corruption gripping Mexico. His courage was well-known-in 2011, the Committee to Protect Journalists gave him its International Press Freedom Award-and his impact was widespread.

A wave of attacks, several of them fatal, targeted reporters in Mexico over the last few months, NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico.

Javier Valdez has died, Riodoce -where the journalist collaborated- confirmed the news. "We condemn the Culiacán killing of Javier Valdez, Riodoce director, exemplary journalist, integral man, committed to his country", he wrote.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged President Enrique Pena Nieto earlier this month to prioritize protection for the media in the a year ago of his government, citing the killing of at least 21 journalists in the past decade with "complete impunity".

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The federal Attorney General's Office said it was investigating.

"His loss is a blow to Mexican journalism and to the Mexican public, who see a shadow of silence spreading across the country". The latter chronicled the lives of young people swept up in Mexico's underworld.

"Sinaloa, Valdez's home state is infamous in Mexico's drug world", Carrie says.

Its founder Joaquin Guzman, also known as "El Chapo" (Shorty), was captured is 2014 and is now in jail awaiting trial in the US.

At the time, the CPJ said 38 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992. It added that even when there are convictions, they are often limited to the immediate killer and do not clarify the motive.

Valdez's slaying came less than two weeks after a CPJ delegation met in Mexico City with Pena Nieto and other top government officials. Ricardo Sanchez Perez del Pozo, a lawyer with a background in global law and human rights, took over the post.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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