Knight Foundation: Murders of Journalists in Latin America Tied to Investigations into Organized Crime

A new report by the Knight Foundation examines journalists killed due to their investigations into organized crime activities. 

(From the Knight Report’s Analysis)

Two SUVs intercepted Valentín Valdés Espinosa’s car in downtown Saltillo, Mexico. Gun-wielding thugs forced the 29-year-old general assignment reporter into a vehicle. It was shortly before midnight on Jan. 7, 2010.

In the preceding days, Valdés Espinosa had aggressively reported the arrest of several drug traffickers in the northern Mexico city — and had committed the cardinal sin of identifying them by name — for his newspaper, the Zócalo de Saltillo. In another article, Valdés Espinosa had identified a policeman arrested for being on the drug traffickers’ payroll.

Valentin Valdés Espinosa, a reporter for Zocalo de Saltillo, Mexico, was abudcted by drug-related thugs in January 2010 and shot dead two hours later.

The gunmen bound Valdés Espinosa, beat him and shot him five times. Two hours after the abduction, they dumped his body in front of a motel. “This is going to happen to those who don’t understand,” read a handwritten note beside the body. “The message is for everyone.”

Read Full Analysis. (pdf version)