Mexican Journalist Who Covered Drug Trade Gunned Down In Sinaloa

A Mexican journalist renowned for his coverage of organised crime was gunned down on Monday in the lawless state of Sinaloa, the fifth reporter killed in recent months in the country as authorities struggle to contain resurgent bloodshed among warring drug cartels. "The gunmen, who the paper say appeared to be drugged, roughed up some of the reporters then stole their cameras, cellphones, and other personal effects". He said yes, he was a human being.

He was considered a rare source of independent, investigative journalism in Sinaloa, said Jan-Albert Hootson, the Mexico representative for the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

The cartel is believed to be responsible for an estimated 25% of all illegal drugs that enter the USA via Mexico.

Violence - including killings of journalists - surged in Mexico after the government launched a military campaign against drug gangs a decade ago. He founded RioDoce in 2003, which has won several awards.

The state is home to one of Mexico's most notorious drug cartels.

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"Even though you may have bullet-proofing and bodyguards, [the gangs] will decide what day they are going to kill you".

"Living in Sinaloa is a threat, and being a journalist is an additional threat", said Mr Valdez, when asked in 2011 about his work.

His brother Rafael said Valdez had not indicated whether he had been working on any particular investigation lately. Valdez was also a correspondent for the national newspaper La Jornada, which reported that he was pulled from his vehicle and shot multiple times.

Sinaloa has always been a drug trafficking hotbed and is home to the Sinaloa Cartel headed by notorious kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who is in a NY prison awaiting trial on multiple charges.

He was known for his smile and white Panama hat.

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According to reports, the journalist specialized in covering the drug trafficking was driving at 12 p.m. along the Vicente Riva Palacio street when a gunman stopped him, forced him to get out of his auto and shot him dead.

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

Journalists targeted in Mexico are most often local reporters in places where the rule of law is tenuous, but there have also been killings of journalists with national profiles such as Valdez and Regina Martinez Perez, who was slain in 2012.

Valdez is at least the sixth journalist to be murdered in Mexico since early March.

"It is a tough job and it keeps getting worse", Valdez said recently.

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