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Javier Valdez’s slaying adds to a violent year for Mexican journalists

Javier Valdez, an well-known journalist who covered Mexico’s organized crime and drug trafficking, was shot dead on May 15 in Culiacan, a city in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

He is at least the fifth journalist to be killed in Mexico in the last two months.

Valdez co-founded Ríodoce, a weekly newspaper that focused on crime in Sinaloa. The state is also where the Sinaloa cartel, once led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, originated.

Valdez was awarded the International Press Freedom Award in 2011 for his work.

‘One of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists’

The Committee to Protect Journalists says that 40 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 1992 for motives confirmed to be related to their work. Motive is not confirmed in the cases of another 50 killed in that time.

In a report released earlier this month, CPJ noted that almost all killings of journalists in Mexico go unpunished. CPJ also criticized Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto for failing to crack down on the violence, despite his public condemnations of the attacks.

A violent year so far

At least four other journalists have been killed in Mexico this year, three of them for reasons connected to their work:

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