Mexican journalists mourn, protest after deadly day

Cheryl Sanders
May 20, 2017

Hootson described Valdez as a warm, friendly man, well-liked by other journalists who frequently sought his help to navigate and understand the complex, unsafe state.

On Monday, veteran organised crime writer Javier Valdez was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the northwestern state of Sinaloa while gunmen in Jalisco state killed a reporter at a small weekly magazine and critically wounded his mother, an executive at the family-run publication.

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.

"It has become brazen and cynical", said Ana Cristina Ruelas, Mexico director of freedom of expression group Articulo 19.

Valdez, who wrote a book about the dangers of covering drug cartels and the dirty politicians associated with them, knew the risks of his profession all too well.

Prosecutors announced they were investigating whether the killing may have been due to Valdez's work or a carjacking turned deadly.

President Enrique Pena Nieto condemned what he called an "outrageous crime".

Valdez' brother, Rafael, issued a statement to the Agence France-Presse, where Valdez was a contributor for more than a decade, according to The Atlantic. "Even though you may have bullet-proofing and bodyguards, [the gangs] will decide what day they are going to kill you", BBC reported.

Valdez's brother Rafael said the reporter had been "very happy" in recent days and had not indicated having received threats. "He never talked about it so as not to drag people into it", Rafael Valdez told AFP.

Sinaloa state 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.

Valdez Cardenas is the fifth Mexican journalist killed since March 2, following other murders in the states of Guerrero, Veracruz, Chihuahua and Baja California Sur.

At least 104 journalists have been murdered in Mexico since 2000, according to the New York Times.

Valdez was the Sinaloa correspondent for national daily La Jornada and the author of several books. "You have to fight to change things'".

A well-known journalist in the violence-plagued state of Sinaloa in northwest Mexico was shot and killed Monday on a street in the state capital of Culiacan, marking the latest in a wave of killings of journalists in Mexico.

Other reports by iNewsToday