Mexican leading investigative journalist in combating drug traffickers is shot dead

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Valdez's murder was sharply condemned by Mexican leaders, journalists and human rights advocates.

Valdez, who wrote a book about the dangers of covering drug cartels and the dirty politicians associated with them, knew the risks of his profession all too well.

Valdez's killing on Monday makes him at least the fifth journalist to be murdered in Mexico in just over two months, and the second high-profile reporter to be slain in the country over the past few years after Regina Martinez Perez, who was found strangled in her home in 2012. In 2011, he received an global prize for press freedom from the Committee to Protect Journalists. From an interview with DuncanTucker https://t.co/Q3hqU4VIO1 ...

Images in Mexican media showed a body lying in a street covered by a blue blanket and surrounded by 12 yellow markers of the kind typically used to flag evidence such as bullet casings. His death marks the latest in a string of journalist killings.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists this month said "Mexico's press is caught in a deadly cycle of violence and impunity".

"The Mexican Government must do more to protect journalists and prosecute those criminals who kill journalists for doing their jobs", stated Benavides. Valdez also authored severals on the drug trade in Mexico.

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He compiled much of his reporting into several books, the most recent of which, Narcoperiodismo, was published late previous year.

Press rights group Articulo 19 said that was the first time Pena Nieto had reacted publicly to one of the recent wave of journalists' killings, which they consider a sign of rising pressure on the president.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and the USA ambassador to Mexico condemned Valdez's killing.

His last contribution to AFP was 11 days ago, about the extradition to the United States of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, former head of the notorious Sinaloa cartel. The Sinaloa state correspondent for the national La Jornada daily, Valdez was shot to death in the state capital of Culiacan, a city widely regarded as a stronghold of organized crime groups. Another 50 have been killed during the same time period for reasons not yet confirmed.

He revealed that investigators and forensic specialists from Mexico's prosecutor-general's office were on their way to help in the inquiry.

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