CULIACAN, Mexico – Residents of Culiacan, the capital of the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, gathered at the city’s cathedral to demand an end to the violence in the region and honor slain journalist Javier Valdez.
The 50-year-old Valdez, known for his coverage of Mexico’s drug war, was gunned down on May 15 in Culiacan while walking near the offices of Riodoce, a newsweekly he helped found.
The protesters read poems, letters and sang during Monday’s demonstration at the cathedral.
They then walked with members of the Caravan for Peace and Human Rights to the Sinaloa Attorney General’s Office to demand that those responsible for the wave of killings in the state be brought to justice.
The caravan arrived in Culiacan on Monday after a journey of more than 300 kilometers (186 miles).
Sinaloa Attorney General Juan Jose Rios invited the protesters into his agency’s auditorium and listened to their demands, telling them that he was working with federal prosecutors to solve the Valdez case.
On May 22, investigators re-enacted the hit on Valdez in the presence of the special prosecutor for crimes against journalists, Ricardo Sanchez; the AG’s office representative in Sinaloa, Gerardo Rodriguez; and Rios.
Valdez was attacked by two gunmen, who fired 12 shots at him, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said, citing investigators’ conclusions.
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.
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.