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Noted Journalist Javier Valdez Killed in Mexico's Sinaloa

17 May 2017

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.

The local print weekly and online publication is one of the few news outlets that continues to carry out in-depth investigations in Mexico exposing the deep ties between Mexican politicians and drug cartels.

Valdez Cárdenas was an internationally recognized journalist who specialized in reporting on drug-trafficking and organized crime in Mexico.

"The Committee to Protect Journalists honoured Javier Valdez Cárdenas with an International Press Freedom Award in 2011 to recognise his bravery and uncompromising journalism in the face of threats", said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. From an interview with DuncanTucker https://t.co/Q3hqU4VIO1 ...

Valdez's murder comes just weeks after cartel gunmen murdered respected journalist Maximino Rodriguez Palacios in Baja California Sur as he drove with his wife to a shopping center, Breitbart Texas reported.

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Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and the USA ambassador to Mexico condemned Valdez's killing. 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.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) said in an email that more must be done to protect reporters in Mexico.

Valdez was "an essential source" for journalists who also wanted to report on the drug violence that had been plaguing Sinaloa, the Los Angeles Times noted. So I asked him why he risked his life and he replied: 'It is something I like doing, and someone has to do it.

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

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has been criticized for not speaking out more forcefully in previous cases of slain journalists, sent a Twitter message denouncing the killing and sending condolences to Valdez's family.

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"The better you do journalism and the more passionate you get, the lonelier you get".

"Living in Sinaloa is a threat, and being a journalist is an additional threat", he told CPJ, according the group's website.

Its so-called "drugs war" has the armed forces on one side, powerful gangs on the other and corrupt officials in between - and those not wanting to be reported on are getting away with murder.

Mexico has seen 102 journalists murdered since 2000, according to RSF.

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Noted Journalist Javier Valdez Killed in Mexico's Sinaloa