Mexican Reporters Protest Murder of Colleague

Mexican Reporters Protest Murder of Colleague

Mexican Reporters Protest Murder of Colleague

Valdez is at least the sixth journalist to be murdered in Mexico since March.

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

In reaction to the spate of the attacks, which sparked protests from reporters across the country, Pena Nieto said more and better trained staff would be hired for a widely criticized office that investigates crimes against journalists.

Valdez Cardenas was one of the founders of Riodoce, a local publication in Sinaloa, as well as a contributor for the national newspaper, La Jornada.

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Seven journalists have been killed in Mexico this year in the states of Veracruz, Chihuahua, Guerrero Morelos, Baja California, Jalisco and Sinaloa.

Valdez was an award-winning reporter and founder of a weekly that covered organized crime and the Mexican drug war in the western state of Sinaloa, which is home to the like-named drug gang once headed by Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman. He also authored several books on the drug trade in Mexico. "Each crime against a journalist is a strike against freedom of expression and the press and the citizenry".

"The state must protect journalists".

Jan-Albert Hootson, Mexico representative for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said Valdez and Riodoce were known as a rare source of independent, investigative journalism in Sinaloa. Experts say that Guzman's arrest a year ago and extradition in January have led to upheaval in the area as rival factions war for control of the gang. Those who were there in person held images of Mr Valdez, while others stuck in their office worked below his projected image on a big screen.

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"To die", he said in an interview with CPJ, "would be to stop writing". "Neither journalists nor citizens want special security, the demand is one: put an end to impunity, and police, ministerial and judicial corruption on the rise".

"Violence can't be part of daily life", Pena Nieto said.

Since 1992, 40 journalists have been killed in Mexico with the majority of cases going unsolved and unpunished according to a recent CPJ report. It added that even when there are convictions, they are often limited to the immediate killer and do not clarify the motive.

Valdez's slaying came less than two weeks after a CPJ delegation met in Mexico City with Pena Nieto and other top government officials.

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The victim's injuries were so severe some internal organs had to be removed. The abuse "had been going on for years", he added.

Numerous media and human rights organisations including Amnesty International have called for an impartial investigation.

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