Veteran Mexican journalist Javier Valdez is killed

Posted May 17, 2017

Award-winning drug reporter Javier Valdez was shot dead by unidentified attackers on a street near his office in Mexico's Culiacan on Monday, AP reported.

Journalists and photographers hold up pictures of journalist Javier Valdez during a demonstration against his killing and for other journalists who were killed in Mexico, at the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City, Mexico May 16, 2017. Attackers made it look like they were going to steal his vehicle but then shot him 12 times with two different weapons.

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

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.

Articulo 19 says more than half of the reported threats received by journalists have come from public officials.

His death marks the latest in a string of journalist killings.

Later that same year, Valdez's Riodoce was awarded the prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Prize, which recognizes excellence in journalism in the Americas.

"The effect of the violence is a kind of self-censorship", he said. "In 2016, we saw the highest number of journalist assassinations in more than a ten year period". "Even though you may have bulletproofing and bodyguards, [the gangs] will decide what day they are going to kill you".

He wrote about the Sinaloa drug cartel and its founder Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. 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. His arrest sparked a fierce power struggle for control of the cartel. He reported for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada (Spanish.) He was also a valuable source for worldwide reporters trying to piece together the debacle that is Mexico today. He had been a contributor to AFP for more than a decade.

He was known for his smile and white Panama hat.

Mexico is one of the most unsafe places to be a journalist, with the vast majority of attacks on the media unpunished.

"Valdez was a nationally and internationally recognized journalist who authored several books on the drug trade, including Narcoperiodismo and Los Morros del Narco, " The Associated Press reports.

"We do not see the violence against journalists stopping", said Balbina Flores, a representative of RSF in Mexico. He was the fifth journalist (link in Spanish) to be killed in the country so far this year.

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