Veteran Mexican Journalist Assassinated

Award-winning Mexican journalist Javier Valdez was shot to death Monday in broad daylight on a busy street in Culiacan. Valdez, a well-known correspondent for Mexico City’s La Jornada and a co-founder of the weekly publication Riodoce, was a veteran crime reporter covering drug wars and cartels. His death makes him the latest of at least five Mexican journalists assassinated in 2017, in what press freedom organizations describe as an increasingly dangerous climate for Mexican reporters. In a statement on Twitter, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto pledged to protect reporters. “I reiterate our commitment to freedom of expression and press, fundamental to our democracy,” Nieto said. The Valdez news came hours before gunmen in Autlan state attacked Sonia Córdova, an executive at the Semanario Costeno weekly magazine, and her son, Jonathan Rodríguez Córdova, a reporter at the publication. Reuters reports the younger Córdova died at the scene, and the mother was hospitalized with gunshot wounds.