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17 May 2017, 01:49 | Katie Chavez
Rash of media murders highlights deadly threats in Mexico
Masked gunmen pulled him from his vehicle as he drove through Culiacán, the state capital of Sinaloa, and shot him with semi-automatic rifles.
Unidentified attackers opened fire on him on Monday in Culiacan city in the north-western state of Sinaloa, where he lived and worked.
The veteran journalist's body, with his trademark straw hat still covering part of his head, remained on the street as police roped off the scene. Riodoce reported the news on its website. He had been a contributor to AFP for more than a decade. "I reiterate our commitment to freedom of expression and the press, fundamental to our democracy", he wrote on Twitter.
In a report released this month, the group noted that most killings of journalists go unpunished in Mexico. Few of the killings have been resolved in a nation where drug violence and organized crime are endemic, especially in the provinces outside of Mexico City.
Rios added that the murder is presumed to have been related to Valdez Cardenas'journalistic work.
On Saturday, seven journalists were assaulted and robbed by a mob of about 100 armed men on a highway in the troubled southern state of Guerrero.
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The mourning and protests followed a particularly deadly day for the media in Mexico, where warring drug cartels have made it one of the most risky countries to be a journalist. Its founder Joaquin Guzman, also known as "El Chapo" (Shorty), was captured is 2014 and is now in jail awaiting trial in the US.
"Javier showed extreme courage by spending years investigating the powerful drug cartels in Mexico, knowing that he was risking his life in doing so". He was always gregarious and generous with his time, said colleagues, as tributes from stunned and grief-stricken fellow journalists and others flooded in on social media.
Mexico is one of the most risky places to be a journalist, with the vast majority of attacks on the media unpunished.
Reporters without Borders now ranks Mexico as the most unsafe country in the world for journalists, with nine media professionals murdered in 2016 alone.
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. "This is what most of the country is living through".
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