In Mexico AFP journalist shot dead - Judicial source

18 May, 2017, 00:07 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel

A Mexican reporter renowned for coverage of organized crime was killed in the lawless state of Sinaloa and gunmen attacked an executive of a small weekly magazine on Monday, as authorities struggle to contain renewed bloodshed between drug cartels.

In this photo released by Riodoce, journalist Javier Valdez poses for a photo an unknown location in Mexico.

"Forensic staff are at the scene at this very moment carrying out technical analyses".

We reiterate our commitment to the freedom of the press and the protection of journalists throughout the world. His death marks the latest in a string of journalist killings.

In response to that, Valdez founded Riodoce with two colleagues.

This year is proving to be one of the worst in memory for Mexican journalists.

"Being a journalist is like being on a blacklist", Valdez said at a launch of his last book about drug gangs.

His last contribution to AFP was 11 days ago, about the extradition to the United States of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, former head of the notorious Sinaloa cartel. His arrest sparked a fierce power struggle for control of the cartel. At a wake in Culiacan, Valdez's body lay in a coffin crowned by his trademark Panama-style hat.

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"This crime is yet another stark reminder of the risky conditions in which all too many courageous journalists exercise their profession", said Irina Bokova the Director-General of the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a statement condemning the murder.

He said he was committed to journalism even though speaking out could lose him friends. "You have to assume the task that falls to you as a journalist - either that or you play dumb".

In 2011, the CPJ gave Valdez an International Press Freedom Award for writing about the victims of the drug war. Experts say Guzman's arrest past year and extradition in January have led to upheaval in the area as rival factions war for control of the gang.

He also published titles about women's and children's experiences of drug violence.

The other four journalists killed this year were also targeted while out and about.

The "Day Without Journalism" protests were staged by publications across Mexico, where at least five journalists have been gunned down this year and where few perpetrators are ever brought to justice.

Tania Montalvo, the editor of Animal Politico, said journalists in her newsroom chose to stage a Day Without Journalism protest Monday afternoon after they learned of Valdez's death.

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