Veteran reporter Julio Valdivia was found Wednesday afternoon in the coastal state of Veracruz, Mexico, in the municipality of Tejonpa, near rail tracks. According to Diario El Mundo of the newspaper Cordoba, his motorcycle was found only a few yards from his body, where he worked.
The Veracruz government condemned the murder.
Whether Valdivia was killed for her reporting would be a central question for observers of freedom of the press and Mexican authorities. Valdrivia’s journalist work is “a possible lead to follow” in his murder investigation, Veracruz’s attorney general’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.
He is remembered by his colleagues at Diorro El Mundo, in the sanctuary of Valdivia.
“” Valdivia “Everyone knew her, always responded with a smile and used her unique phrase that characterized her: ‘Let’s go, it’s necessary,” he wrote.
According to the newspaper, Valdivia leaves behind a wife and four children, who are just four years old.
Last year, the CPJ reported killing 11 journalists in Mexico, the highest worldwide, as it exited war-torn Syria, where seven journalists were murdered in 2019.
“I am shocked by the vandalism of the assassination of Julio Valdivia, even in a country where violence against the press continues, even the country went into lockdown partly due to the Kovid-19 epidemic,” Dr. Albert Hootsen, CPJ representative from Mexico told CNN.
Hootsen says Mexican officials are part of the blame for failing to stop such crimes.
“Some exceptions have been shown by Mexican authorities, both state and federal, to be completely incompetent to properly investigate crimes against the press,” he said. “The cycle of violence and impotence continues to encourage anyone who wants to attack the press to do so without fear of being arrested, prosecuted and sentenced.”
According to Reporters Borders, relations between local authorities and gangs can also exacerbate a culture of insecurity that makes reporting so risky.
“Collusion between officials and organized crime poses a serious threat to the security of journalists and cripples judicial systems at all levels,” the group said on its website. “As a result, Mexico is sinking even more into a spiral of violence and insecurity and remains the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lupez Obredor said on Thursday that investigating the death of Valdivia is a “duty” and “obligation” of the government.
Asked about the assassination, the president said, “I know Tenozapa and know the importance of El Mundo, the newspaper of Cordoba and how heroic it is to do journalism in that area.” “It is therefore necessary to investigate and punish those responsible in all cases.”