The body of a Mexican crime reporter was beheaded and dumped on railroad tracks in an area plagued by gang violence
- Julio Valdivia, 44, specializes in & # 39; nota roja & # 39; journalism, which focuses on crime
- His body was found next to his motorcycle near the violent city of Veracruz
- He reported on a confrontation between police and criminals the day before
A journalist who wrote about crime in a violent area in eastern Mexico was found beheaded Wednesday.
Julio Valdivia, 44, specializes in & # 39; nota roja & # 39; journalism, which focuses on cruel crime and violence.
He was found next to his motorcycle near railroad tracks in the remote community of Tezonapa, about 100 kilometers from the dangerous state capital, Veracruz.
It is the latest gruesome murder of a reporter in one of the most dangerous nations in the world for journalists.
Mexican journalist Julio Valdivia, who wrote about crimes in the violent Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, was found beheaded
He was found next to his motorcycle near railroad tracks in the remote community of Tezonapa, about 100 kilometers from the dangerous state capital, Veracruz
Valdivia of the newspaper El Mundo de Veracruz is the fifth journalist to be killed in Mexico this year, according to media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.
An employee of the Valdivia newspaper initially said it was suspected that Valdivia might have been run over by a train, but prosecutors ruled this out.
"Valdivia was found near the railroad tracks, beheaded and tortured," said the newspaper worker, who did not want to be identified.
Hugo Gutierrez, security minister and chief of police in the east of the state of Veracruz, condemned the "cowardly murder" of the reporter.
"In coordination with the Attorney General's Office, we will exhaust all resources to find those responsible," he said in a statement.
He had reported the day before about a confrontation between police and suspected criminals.
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 agency.
He had reported the day before about a confrontation between police and suspected criminals
"There needs to be an investigation into whether he reported anything that disrupted these criminal groups."
Veracruz is a focal point in turf wars between Mexico's rival drug cartels and the country's deadliest state for media professionals.
In March, journalist Maria Elena Ferral was shot dead by two motorcycle attackers while getting into her car in Veracruz.
RSF regularly ranks Mexico as the most dangerous country in the world for the news media, alongside war-torn Syria and Afghanistan.
The watchdog asked the authorities to investigate whether Valdivia was murdered because of his work.
"All lines of inquiry must be exhausted, especially those related to his journalism because he worked in a violent area," Balbina Flores, the group's representative in Mexico, told AFP.
Journalist Miroslava Breach was murdered in 2017 by a Mexican drug cartel officer who was sentenced to 50 years in prison
More than 100 reporters have been murdered in Mexico since 2000, where questions about political corruption or powerful drug cartels can be deadly.
Only a fraction of these crimes have resulted in convictions.
In one rare such conviction, a man convicted of ordering the murder of prominent journalist Miroslava Breach in 2017 was sentenced to 50 years in prison last month.
"We condemn the murder of Julio Valdivia," said the Veracruz government on their Twitter account.
A local media protection group called CEAPP said in a statement that Valdivia did not have additional safeguards because it had not reported that it was exposed to threats to its security. But the group asked the authorities to shed light on the murder.