Journalist killed in Mexican state of Sinaloa

Photo of Mexican award-winning local journalist and Agence France-Presse contributor Javier Valdez, taken on May 23, 2013.

Earlier today, Javier Valdez, a correspondent covering the drug-related violence and crime beat in the state of Sinaloa for Mexico's largest daily newspaper, La Jornada, was shot dead around midday in Sinaloa's capital of Culiacan, home base for the notorious Sinaloa cartel previously run by jailed drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

"By not establishing a clear link to journalism or providing any motives for the killings most investigations remain opaque", the group said in a recent report press freedom in Mexico.

Valdez spent years documenting the violence in Mexico, and his death triggered an outpouring of grief across the country.

Despite some judicial efforts, "a lack of political will to end impunity exposes Mexico as one of the most unsafe countries in the world for journalists".

Another journalist was slain in Mexico on Monday, a government official has confirmed.

Valdez and his publication had been threatened before.

Valdez was shot dead on the street near the premises of the Mexican news weekly he had founded, Ríodoce. "We have no doubt: those who ordered the crime asked the hit men to ensure the target", stated Riodoce.

Prosecutors announced they were investigating whether the killing may have been due to Valdez's work or a carjacking turned deadly.

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But there's been points left on the table, often through no fault of his own. "He passed a bunch of people at St. There wasn't much in the way of on-track passing, either. "We just have to see what happened with the stall".

"The state must respond to these circumstances", said Sinaloa prosecutor Juan Jose Rios at a rowdy news conference.

The attack makes him the sixth journalist to have been killed in Mexico this year.

"The Committee to Protect Journalists honored Javier Valdéz Cárdenas with an International Press Freedom Award in 2011 to recognize his bravery and uncompromising journalism in the face of threats", CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a statement.

They accused the authorities of failing to prosecute those who kill journalists covering the drug gangs in broad daylight, sometimes in front of their families.

Last year, he published a book about drug gangs and the media.

A wave of attacks, several of them fatal, targeted reporters in Mexico over the last few months, NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and the USA ambassador to Mexico condemned Valdez's killing.

Mexico ranks third in the world for the number of journalists killed, after Syria and Afghanistan, according to media rights group Reporters Without Borders. "We are simply doing our jobs", said NAHJ Brandon Benavides to NBC Latino via email. It tells the stories of Mexican journalists who have been victims of crimes.

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