CULIACAN, Mexico – Prominent journalist Javier Valdez was attacked by two gunmen, who fired 12 shots at him, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said, citing investigators’ conclusions.
The 50-year-old Valdez, known for his coverage of Mexico’s drug war, was gunned down on May 15 in the northwestern city of Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, while walking near the offices of Riodoce, a newsweekly he helped found.
Investigators re-enacted the hit Monday in Culiacan in the presence of the special prosecutor for crimes against journalists, Ricardo Sanchez; the AG’s office representative in Sinaloa, Gerardo Rodriguez; and Sinaloa Attorney General Juan Jose Rios.
Valdez was forced to stop his vehicle, ordered to get out and led away, AG’s office representatives said.
The gunmen shot the journalist numerous times and then drove away from the crime scene, the AG’s office said.
On Monday, journalists and human rights activists staged a protest in front of the state AG’s office, calling for Valdez’s killers to be brought to justice, while another demonstration took place at the cathedral in Culiacan.
The federal government, meanwhile, released a statement Monday condemning Valdez’s killing and vowing to prosecute those responsible for the murder.
“President Enrique Peña Nieto and the members of his administration were shaken by the murder of Javier Valdez and we are angered by the attacks on journalists,” government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said in a statement sent to media outlets.
A total of 126 members of the media have been killed since 2000 in Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to work.