Javier Valdez Cárdenas

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Javier Valdez Cárdenas
Javier Valdez Cardenas.jpg
Born(1967-04-14)April 14, 1967
Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico
DiedMay 15, 2017(2017-05-15) (aged 50)
Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Nationality Mexican
OccupationJournalist, author
Organization Ríodoce
Known forInvestigative journalism of organized crime
Awards International Press Freedom Award (2011)

Javier Valdez Cárdenas (April 14, 1967 – May 15, 2017) was a Mexican journalist and founder of Ríodoce , a newspaper based in Sinaloa. He received several international awards for his writings on drug trafficking and organized crime in the Mexican Drug War.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 129 million people, Mexico is the tenth most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states plus Mexico City (CDMX), which is the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the country include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, and León.

Ríodoce is a Mexican weekly dedicated to coverage of organized crime and the Mexican drug war in Sinaloa, Mexico. The newspaper is based in Culiacán. The paper was founded in 2003 by a group of reporters from the daily Noroeste, including Javier Valdez Cárdenas.

Sinaloa State of Mexico

Sinaloa, officially the Estado libre y soberano de Sinaloa, is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 18 municipalities and its capital city is Culiacán Rosales.


Early life and career

Javier Valdez Cárdenas was born on April 14, 1967 in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. He graduated from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa with a degree in sociology. [1] [2] In the early 1990s, Valdez Cárdenas worked as a reporter for the national TV station, Canal 3, in Culiacán. He then joined the Sinaloa-based newspaper Noroeste and became a correspondent for the Mexico City-daily newspaper La Jornada in 1998. [3]

Culiacán Place in Sinaloa, Mexico

Culiacán is a city in northwestern Mexico. It is the largest city in and the capital of the state of Sinaloa. It is also the seat of Culiacán Municipality. It had an urban population of 785,800 in 2015 while 905,660 lived in the entire municipality. While the municipality has a total area of 4,758 km2 (1,837 sq mi), the city itself is considerably smaller, measuring only 65 km2 (25 sq mi).

Autonomous University of Sinaloa

The Autonomous University of Sinaloa is a Mexican public university based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, but with several campuses across the state.

La Jornada is one of Mexico City's leading daily newspapers. It was established in 1984 by Carlos Payán Velver. The current editor (directora general) is Carmen Lira Saade. La Jornada has presence in eight states of the Mexican Republic with local editions in Aguascalientes, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, San Luis Potosí, Puebla and Veracruz (La Jornada de Oriente). It has approximately 287,000 readers in Mexico City, and, according to them, their website has approximately 180,000 daily page views.

In 2003, he and other reporters from the daily newspaper Noroeste founded Ríodoce , a weekly dedicated to crime and corruption in Sinaloa, considered one of Mexico's most violent states. [4] Valdez Cárdenas was also the author of several books on drug trafficking, including Miss Narco, which chronicles the lives of the girlfriends and wives of drug lords, and Los morros del narco: Niños y jóvenes en el narcotráfico mexicano ("The Kids of the Drug Trade: Children and teenagers in Mexican drug trafficking").

A weekly newspaper is a general-news publication that is published once or twice a week.

In September 2009, Ríodoce published a series on drug trafficking entitled "Hitman: Confession of an Assassin in Ciudad Juárez." One morning a few days after the conclusion of the series, a grenade was thrown into Ríodoce's office, damaging the building but causing no injuries. The attackers were never identified. [4]


In 2011, Valdez Cárdenas was awarded the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists, "an annual recognition of courageous journalism". [5] In his acceptance speech, he called the violence of Mexican drug trafficking "a tragedy that should shame us", blaming the citizenry of Mexico for giving the drug war its deaths and the governments of US and Mexico for giving the drug war its guns. [6] Later in the same year, the trustees of Columbia University awarded Ríodoce the Maria Moors Cabot Prize for journalism that contributes to "inter-American understanding". [7]

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is an American independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, based in New York City, New York with correspondents around the world. CPJ promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists. The American Journalism Review has called the organization "Journalism's Red Cross".

Columbia University Private Ivy League research university in New York City

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 near the Upper West Side region of Manhattan, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.


Demonstration against the murder of Javier Valdez, in Mexico City Demonstration against Javier Valdez murdering - May 16 2017 - Mexico City 05.jpg
Demonstration against the murder of Javier Valdez, in Mexico City

On May 15, 2017, Valdez Cárdenas was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen around noon, blocks away from the Ríodoce offices in Culiacán, Sinaloa [8] [9] when he was 50 years old. [10] [11] The murder was condemned by the U.S. embassy in Mexico, the United Nations, and the European Union. [12]

Embassy of the United States, Mexico City

The Embassy of the United States of America in Mexico City is the diplomatic mission of United States of America to the United Mexican States. The embassy's chancery is situated on the Paseo de la Reforma, Colonia Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City. Christopher Landau is the current United States Ambassador to Mexico.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City; other main offices are in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.

European Union Economic and political union of European states

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

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  1. Alexander, Harriet (15 May 2017). "Mexican journalist famed for drug war investigations shot dead in Sinaloa". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  2. "El fundador y periodista de Ríodoce, Javier Valdez Cárdenas, fue asesinado en Culiacá, Sinaloa". Consejo de Redacción (in Spanish). Bogotá, Colombia. May 15, 2017.
  3. "Jesús Javier Valdez Cárdenas, el sexto periodista asesinado en México en lo que va de 2017". Proceso (in Spanish). May 15, 2017.
  4. 1 2 "Javier Valdez Cárdenas, Mexico". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  5. "CPJ International Press Freedom Awards 2011". Committee to Protect Journalists. 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  6. Javier Valdez Cárdenas (22 November 2011). "Award Acceptance Speech". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  7. "The Maria Moors Cabot Prize". journalism.columbia.edu. 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  8. Paullier, Juan (15 May 2017). "Asesinan a tiros en Sinaloa a Javier Valdez, el periodista que cubrió como nadie el narco mexicano". BBC Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  9. "Asesinan al periodista mexicano Javier Valdez Cárdenas, quien cubría temas de narcotráfico en el estado de Sinaloa". Univision (in Spanish). 15 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  10. "Mexican authorities say well-known journalist Javier Valdez was shot and killed in the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan". The Washington Post. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017 via The Associated Press.
  11. McDonnell, Patrick J. (15 May 2017). "Veteran Mexican journalist Javier Valdez is killed". Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  12. Grillo, Ioan (Sept. 19 2018). "Inside the Brilliant Career and Tragic Death of Javier Valdez," Esquire, Sept. 2018.