World Bulletin / News Desk
Journalists and human rights activists protested Tuesday in several cities Tuesday, demanding the government catch the murderers of the veteran journalist Javier Valdez.
The 50-year-old reporter who was renowned for his articles and books on drug cartels, violence and corruption in Mexico was shot dead Monday in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa.
In Mexico City, journalists gathered in front of the Ministry of Interior with candles and pictures of Valdez.
‘’The state must protect journalists. But the state is corrupted and does not help us’’ renowned journalist Carmen Aristegui told the crowd.
Other journalists read excerpts of Valdez’s articles, and shouted: ‘’We won’t be silent’’ and ‘’Fascist state’’ between the speeches.
Valdez’s murder is the latest in a string of killings of journalists in Mexico. Often targeted are reporters who cover the drug trade. A number of local media outlets chose not to report on the protests.
Various human rights groups and governments, including the European Union and Amnesty International, asked for an independent and exhaustive investigation.
“Rapid and transparent investigations are necessary to bring the perpetrators of all these crimes to justice” the European Union said in a statement that demanded Mexico see the “end of impunity in cases of crimes against journalists and activists”.
Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said at a news conference earlier Tuesday that the federal government "condemns and repudiates” the cowardly attacks against journalists.
He said measures would be taken to ensure journalists continue to do their jobs, adding that he would address the issue Thursday with governors.
At least 40 journalists have been murdered in Mexico for reasons linked to their jobs in the last 25 years, while 50 others were killed under unclear circumstances, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
Mexico ranks third in the world for the number of journalists killed, behind only Syria and Afghanistan, the media right group Reporters Without Borders said.