In Mexico, award-winning journalist Javier Valdez has been assassinated in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. Valdez was a longtime reporter on drug trafficking and organized crime. He wrote for the prominent newspaper La Jornada. He was killed Monday after gunmen opened fire on his car in the city of Culiacán. This is Valdez, speaking in 2011 when he won the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award.
Javier Valdez: "I have been a journalist for 21 years, and never before have I suffered and enjoyed it this intensely, nor with so many dangers. In Culiacán in the state of Sinaloa, in Mexico, it’s a danger to be alive. And to be a journalist is to tread an invisible line determined by the bad guys, who are in drug trafficking and the government, in a field strewn with explosives. This is what most of the country is living through. One must protect oneself from everything and everyone. And there does not seem to be options or salvation, and often there is no one to turn to."
His death marks the fifth reported killing of a journalist in Mexico this year. Only hours after his assassination, gunmen opened fire on another journalist, Sonia Córdova, and her son Jonathan Rodríguez Córdova, in the state of Jalisco. Córdova is the deputy director of the weekly magazine El Costeño. She survived the attack and is in critical condition. Her son, who also wrote for the magazine, was killed. Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous places to be a journalist. Since 2000, more than 100 journalists have been murdered in Mexico.