Javier Valdez, Award-Winning Mexican Crime Journalist, Assassinated

Veracruz journalist killing murder Mexico homicides protest

The awarding-winning Valdez was one of the most prominent reporters on Mexico's deadly drug war. Valdez shone a light on the activities of the country's notorious drug cartels.

Valdez Cárdenas was an internationally recognized journalist who specialized in reporting on drug-trafficking and organized crime in Mexico. From an interview with DuncanTucker https://t.co/Q3hqU4VIO1 ...

In a report released this month, the group noted that most killings of journalists go unpunished in Mexico.

On Monday, Javier Valdez Cardenas became the sixth journalist murdered in the country since the beginning of the year.

Photographs from Sinaloa showed Valdez's body in the middle of a street, the brimmed hat he often wore lying among a dozen yellow markers for bullets. His death marks the latest in a string of journalist killings.




Although there is a special prosecutor devoted to investigating crimes against journalists as well as a program established in 2012 that provides emergency evacuations and police protection to members of the media who have come under threat, violence against journalists is getting worse, advocates say. Journalists who worked with him said he kept his sense of humor despite the pressures of his job.

"Mexico has become more unsafe in general over the past year, and that is affecting the way there is more fighting", Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope said. It is now the scene of an internal battle between rival factions of the Sinaloa Cartel, which are vying for power in the wake of former leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's extradition to the U.S.

News of his slaying shook Mexico's journalism community, already alarmed by a spike in attacks against the media this year.

"Being a journalist is like being on a blacklist", Valdez said past year. He vowed to defend press freedom, "fundamental for our democracy". He was also a correspondent La Jornada, a national newspaper based in Mexico City. Another 50 have been killed during the same time period for reasons not yet confirmed. "I don't want to be asked, 'What were you doing in the face of so much death. why didn't you say what was going on?'"

There's no evidence directly linking the killings to each other, but collectively they are a grim signal that lawlessness and impunity continue to threaten the lives and work of journalists across much of the country. Ricardo Sanchez Perez del Pozo, a lawyer with a background in global law and human rights, took over the post.

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