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Third journalist killed or kidnapped in Mexico in 2 1/2 weeks

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He'd just knocked off work when Valentin Valdes Espinosa, a reporter for the Zocalo of Saltillo newspaper, and two other journalists were intercepted by two trucks full of gunmen late Thursday. Valdes Espinosa's body, bound, gagged and bearing five bullet holes, was found Friday morning. Tacked to it: a written warning of the kind often left by drug traffickers.

The two reporters with Valdes Espinosa were let go or got away, authorities said.

Valdes Espinosa, 28, is the third journalist slain or kidnapped in Mexico in the last 18 days. On Dec. 22, newspaper publisher Alberto Velasquez, from the resort town of Tulum, was shot to death by gunmen on a motorcycle. On Dec. 30, veteran crime reporter Jose Luis Romero was seized by masked men in Los Mochis, in the drug-center state of Sinaloa. He's not been seen since. Hours after his disappearance, the lead detective on the case was slain.

Already, Mexico in 2009 had earned the unwanted designation of Latin America's most dangerous country for reporters, and one of the most perilous in the world. That's according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and similar human rights organizations.

The Times has written about the risks Mexican journalists face, especially those who attempt to cover the raging battles between government forces and drug gangs and among the gangs themselves. The stories included ones focusing on slain journalists Bladimir Antuna and Rodolfo Rincon. Traffickers and other criminals seek to intimidate reporters into silence, and it often works.

-- Tracy Wilkinson in Mexico City


Photo: Valentin Valdes Espinosa. Credit: Zocalo de Saltillo

Comments () | Archives (3)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I think that the Mexican press should acknowledge the risks and let the articles be published anonymously. No one needs to know who wrote any article.

the cops are afraid of the goons! the military is afraid of the goons! everyone is on the take! Mexico's day of blood is coming and it won't be by the hands of the goons. The US military will be there soon and the goons will be fighting a battle they never saw coming. They will be killed on the front and the rear. So take note now you low life worms, hell is coming!!

What's becoming of Mexico that young journalists (and many others) in the prime of their lives being kidnapped and shot down like dogs? It's been said that the sure way for evil to prosper is when good men do nothing. It's time for ALL of the good men and women of Mexico to stand up and say "NO MORE". Stop blaming the U.S. for all your immoral behavior. (You don't need to kidnap, torture, and slaughter innocent people to sell drugs.) The unbelievably disgusting goings-on in Mexico is caused by one thing- CORRUPTION on a grand scale. Mexico is long overdue for a moral makeover before all out narco-anarchy destroys the entire county.


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About the Reporters
Ken Ellingwood
Daniel Hernandez
Efrain Hernandez Jr.
Chris Kraul
Richard Marosi
Tracy Wilkinson