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One of Mexico’s most revered journalists was gunned down outside his office

May 16, 2017

Javier Valdez was the sixth journalist murdered in Mexico this year.

One of the most experienced and respected journalists to have covered Mexico’s brutal drug war was murdered in Sinaloa, a state plagued by narco violence, on Monday.

A brave and tireless reporter, Javier Valdez Cárdenas was shot 12 times after leaving the offices of Ríodoce, a newspaper he founded and edited in Culiacán, the state capital. He was the sixth journalist murdered this year — a seventh would follow before the day was done. Over 100 have been killed since 2000.

“The Mexican government condemns the murder of Javier Valdez. My condolences to his family and companions,” President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted. “I reiterate our commitment to freedom of expression and the press, which are fundamental to our democracy.”

The president said a special prosecutor’s office for crimes against freedom of expression would investigate the killing, but observers are doubtful the government is truly willing or able to ensure that justice is done. From 2010 to 2016 that office received 798 complaints of aggressions against journalists, securing just three jail sentences, a 99.7 percent impunity rate.

Valdez’s death occurred less than 48 hours after 100 gunmen abducted seven journalists in the lawless southern state of Guerrero. The assailants stole equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars before releasing the reporters, who were covering violence in the region.

Jonathan Rodríguez, a reporter at a weekly newspaper in western Jalisco state was also shot dead on Monday evening. His mother, Sonia Córdova, who also worked at the paper, was hit too and is in a critical condition…

Click here to read this article in full at VICE News

Click here to read my interview with Valdez from earlier this year

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