Mexican reporter and narco-expert killed in Sinaloa - 5th journalist this year

Mexico. Valdez a veteran reporter who specialized in covering drug trafficking and organized crime was slain Monday May 15 2017 in the norther

Mexican journalist shot dead

Journalists in the US and Mexico are reeling from the death of Mexican reporter Javier Valdez Cárdenas, who was shot dead on Monday in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, where he lived and worked.

"It's also home to the Sinaloa cartel, which until recently was headed by Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman" - the infamous drug lord who, after a high-profile escape and recapture, has been extradited to the USA and is awaiting trial.

Mexican crime reporter Javier Valdez Cárdenas was assassinated Monday by an armed group that reportedly shot him while he was driving, according to both news outlets he worked for.

Valdez won the Committee to Protect Journalists' worldwide press freedom award in 2011. From an interview with DuncanTucker https://t.co/Q3hqU4VIO1 ...

Valdez Cardenas is the fifth Mexican journalist killed since March 2, following other murders in the states of Guerrero, Veracruz, Chihuahua and Baja California Sur.

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President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Twitter that he had ordered an "investigation of this outrageous crime".

In a report released this month, the group noted that most killings of journalists go unpunished in Mexico. Reporters without Borders says Mexico most risky country in the world for journalists.

Valdez's brother Rafael said the reporter had been "very happy" in recent days and had not indicated that he had received threats.

Journalists wrote "they are killing us" in large letters at the foot of the Angel of Independence monument in central Mexico City and flashed pictures of dead reporters to passing cars.

He was renowned as one of the most critical voices of drug trafficking and corruption in Mexico and also wrote several books, including one on the dangers journalists face while reporting on criminal issues.

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Last year, 11 journalists were killed in Mexico overall, it said.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Valdez had told them he was concerned for his safety just weeks before his murder.

"I asked him why he risked his life (for his work) and he replied: 'It is something I like doing, and someone has to do it". Experts say Guzman's arrest a year ago and extradition in January have led to upheaval in the area as rival factions war for control of the gang.

In the case of Valdez, "his loss is a blow to Mexican journalism and to the Mexican public, who see a shadow of silence spreading across the country", said Joel Simon, the CPJ's executive director, in a statement.

Mexico's attorney general's office said Monday an investigation has been opened into Valdez's murder.

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