Javier Váldez became the sixth Mexican crime reporter to be murdered this year. The founder of the weekly Ríodoce was shot dead around midday as he was driving in downtown Culiacán, Sinaloa. Váldez’s body was left in the street, after his car was intercepted by a Toyota Corolla filled with gunmen, according to news reports.
In 2011, the Committee to Project Journalists awarded Váldez the International Press Freedom Award. He was also a regular columnist for other media, and well known to international reporters for aiding them in understanding the drug wars. As Javier Lafuente of El Pais writes:
The blow to journalism–to Mexican society–is terrible, even more so in the face of the noisy, entrenched impunity and the silence of institutions. There have been no arrests for the six journalists assassinated this year. The reaction to the five deaths before Váldez has been to designate a prosecutor for crimes against freedom of expression, a measure that seems derisory given the magnitude of the tragedy.
Earlier in May, the Committee to Project Journalists published a special report, No Excuse: Mexico must break cycle of impunity in journalists’ murders.