A journalist was found decapitated Wednesday in a violence-plagued area of eastern Mexico, police said, the latest in a string of killings in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for reporters.
Julio Valdivia of the newspaper El Mundo de Veracruz is the fifth journalist slain in Mexico this year, according to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Hugo Gutierrez, security minister and head of the police in eastern Veracruz state, condemned the “cowardly murder” of the 41-year-old reporter.
“In coordination with the state attorney general’s office we will exhaust all resources to find those responsible,” he said in a statement. AFP
Valdivia’s body was found with his motorcycle on a train track in a mountainous area of the municipality of Tezonapa, according to his newspaper.
It said he had covered a confrontation between police and suspected criminals the previous day.
Valdivia “worked in a complicated area where there are criminal groups,” said Ana Laura Perez of the State Commission for the Attention and Protection of Journalists, a government body.
“It must be investigated if he had reported something that bothered these criminal groups.”
Veracruz is a flashpoint in turf wars between Mexico’s rival drug cartels as well as the country’s deadliest state for media workers.
In March, journalist Maria Elena Ferral was shot dead by two assailants on motorbikes when getting into her car in Veracruz.
RSF regularly ranks Mexico alongside war-torn Syria and Afghanistan as the world’s most dangerous countries for news media.