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Veteran crime reporter shot dead in Mexico

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An award-winning veteran crime reporter identified as Javier Valdez who has been covering drug trafficking and organised crime beat has been shot dead in the northern Mexico state of Sinaloa.

According to reports, 50-year-old Valdez was shot dead in the early afternoon in the state capital, Culiacan, near the offices of the publication he had co-founded, Riodoce.

Valdez’s brother, Rafael, said the reporter had been “very happy” in recent days and had not indicated that he had received threats.

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“He was very reserved when it came to his work. He never talked about it so as not to drag people into it,” Rafael said.

“I asked him several times whether he was afraid. He said ‘yes’; he was a human being. So I asked him why he risked his life and he replied: ‘It is something I like doing, and someone has to do it. You have to fight to change things.'”

An official who was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed that Valdez was driving about a block from its offices when he was intercepted and shot by gunmen.

The shooting of the reporter is the latest in a wave of journalist killings in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers.

 

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