Another journalist killed as Mexico struggles to contain violence
Another journalist killed as Mexico struggles to contain violence
Veteran journalist Javier Valdez killed in Mexico's Sinaloa
16 May, 2017, 10:02
Reporters without Borders now ranks Mexico as the most unsafe country in the world for journalists, with nine media professionals murdered in 2016 alone.
The government official in the northern state of Sinaloa said Valdez was killed Monday in the state capital, Culiacan, near the offices of his newspaper, Riodoce.
Valdez worked for the national daily newspaper La Jornada and the local weekly Riodoce.
According to reports, the journalist specialized in covering the drug trafficking was driving at 12 p.m. along the Vicente Riva Palacio street when a gunman stopped him, forced him to get out of his vehicle and shot him dead.
His death makes him the fifth reporter to be killed in Mexico in the past three months.
Violence - including killings of journalists - surged in Mexico after the government launched a military campaign against drug gangs a decade ago.
Riodoce confirmed Valdez's killing on its website, saying he was driving about a block from its offices when he was intercepted by gunmen.
State Prosecutor Juan Jose Rios visited the scene and said authorities were investigating all possible motives, including that the killing could have been due to Valdez's work, though he gave no details.
Valdez's brother Rafael said the reporter had been "very happy" in recent days and had not indicated that he had received threats.
An award-winning local journalist and Agence France-Presse contributor who reported on violent drug gangs in Mexico was shot dead in the street Monday, a court source toldAFP.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged President Enrique Pena Nieto earlier this month to prioritize protection for the media in the previous year of his government, citing the killing of at least 21 journalists in the past decade with "complete impunity".
A special federal prosecutor's office tasked with crimes against freedom of expression said it had started the procedure for opening an inquiry and was sending a team to collect evidence. The former is a look at the relationship between journalism and organized crime, and the latter chronicles the lives of young people swept up in Mexico's criminal underworld.
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.
"Sinaloa, Valdez's home state is infamous in Mexico's drug world", Carrie says.
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