Saturday, 27 May, 2017

Mexican Journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas Assassinated

Saul Franklin | 16 May, 2017, 10:04

"Tears in my eyes, hearing of the murder of Javier Valdez Cardenas in Culiacan, one of the best writers and journalists of Mexico", British author Ioan Grillo said on Twitter.

Javier Valdez was shot and killed when assailants opened fire on his vehicle in the state capital Culiacan, according to RioDoce, the local media outlet he co-founded and where he continued to work.

Valdez worked for the national daily newspaper La Jornada as well as 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 auto and shot him dead.

A Mexican journalist renowned for his coverage of organised crime was gunned down on Monday in the lawless state of Sinaloa, the fifth reporter killed in recent months in the country as authorities struggle to contain resurgent bloodshed among warring drug cartels.

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

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"The state must respond to these circumstances", said Sinaloa prosecutor Juan Jose Rios at a rowdy news conference.

But if Valdez's case is anything like that of the many other reporters who have been murdered in Mexico recently, there's a good chance his killers will never be punished.

The cartel is believed to be responsible for an estimated 25% of all illegal drugs that enter the U.S. via Mexico.

He revealed that investigators and forensic specialists from Mexico's prosecutor-general's office were on their way to help in the inquiry. It tells the stories of Mexican journalists who have been victims of crimes. 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. The state of Sinaloa is the base of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel, and has seen a surge in violence since his arrest, as rival members of his gang vie to wrestle control.

By the group's count, some 40 journalists have been killed in Mexico for reasons confirmed as related to their work since 1992.

"Living in Sinaloa is a threat, and being a journalist is an additional threat", Valdez said in an interview with the CPJ, according the group's website. "This lack of accountability perpetuates a climate of impunity that leaves journalists open to attack".

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