Veteran Mexican Drug Beat Journalist Javier Valdez Murdered

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Javier Valdez poses with his book "Narco-journalism.". Photo: EFE
Javier Valdez poses with his book “Narco-journalism.”. Photo: EFE

Source: TeleSur / The Dawn News / May 15, 2015

Javier Valdez launched his journalism career in the early 1990s in Culiacan and is the author of multiple books.

Yet another journalist was murdered in Mexico Monday, marking the sixth assassination of a reporter so far this year in one of the most deadly countries in the world for media workers.

Javier Valdez, a correspondent covering the drug-related violence and crime beat in the state of Sinaloa for Mexico’s largest daily newspaper, La Jornada, was shot dead around midday in Sinaloa’s capital of Culiacan, home base for the notorious Sinaloa Cartel previously run by jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

The reporter was shot in the street, the Red Cross reported, where his body was left on the pavement after the fatal shooting.

Valdez released a new book last year, titled “Narco-journalism.”

The killing comes just a day after 100 armed assailants suspected of being associated with the Michoacana Family cartel attacked and robbed seven national and international journalists covering a security operation in the state of Guerrero, on the highway leading to Iguala, the town made famous by the disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college in 2014.

Valdez is the sixth journalist to be killed in Mexico so far this year.

Filiberto Alvarez was killed in Tlaquiltenango on May 2, Cecilio Pineda Brito was killed in Guerrero on March 2, Ricardo Monlui was killed in Veracruz on March 19, Miroslava Breach was shot dead in Chihuahua on March 23 and Max Rodriguez Palacios was murdered in Baja California Sur on April 14.

According to a recent report by the press freedom organization Article 19, 2016 was the most deadly year for the press in Mexico in the past decade with 11 journalists murdered and more than 400 attacks on media workers. The organization also found that perpetrators of these crimes get away with the murders 99.7 percent of the time.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 39 journalists have been killed since 1992, though other estimates are much higher.

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