Journalists Protest After Colleague Is Killed In Mexico

Investigative journalists Lydia Cacho and Diego Enrique Osorno made their remarks at a conference in this capital whose initial goal was to present a book on widespread impunity in the Aztec nation, "La ira de Mexico" (Mexico's Ire), but which turned into an urgent call to safeguard freedom of the press following the fatal shooting of award-winning journalist Javier Valdez on Monday.

Award-winning journalist Javier Valdez was shot dead on Monday, close to the offices of the newspaper he had founded in his home state, Sinaloa.

But the killing fanned a wave of anger at the authorities, with rights groups saying corrupt officials are preventing journalists' killers from being punished.

On Tuesday, the front pages of the country's major newspapers carried pictures of Valdez as journalists demonstrated in the centre of the capital, Mexico City.

Rios added that measures were being taken to protect Valdez's family as well as Riodoce, the publication Valdez helped found. Valdez was also a correspondent for the national newspaper La Jornada, which reported that he was pulled from his auto and shot multiple times. "And they kill because they never go after them", said Paez Varela.

In Autlan, in the neighbouring state of Jalisco which is the territory of the ascendant Jalisco New Generation Cartel, gunmen opened fire on Sonia Cordova, an executive at the Semanario Costeno weekly magazine.

Journalists targeted in Mexico are most often local reporters in places where the rule of law is tenuous, but there have also been killings of journalists with national profiles such as Valdez and Regina Martinez Perez, who was slain in 2012. The country has become one of the deadliest in the world for those who work in the media.

"Drug trafficking there is a way of life", Valdez said in an October interview with Rompeviento TV.

Reporters scrawled: "They're killing us in Mexico - No to silence" on the ground, echoing words written by Valdez himself last month on his Twitter account.

Some media in Sinaloa cancelled their Tuesday editions in protest.

"The Mexican Government must do more to protect journalists and prosecute those criminals who kill journalists for doing their jobs", stated Benavides.

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

"They kill because they can kill".

"We have to do something as a collective amid this growing situation", which has resulted in seven murders of journalists thus far in 2017, Osorno said.

  • Jon Douglas