by Andrew Goodell
The newspaper El Mundo, based in Córdoba, Veracruz, reported that one of its reporters, Julio Valdivia, 44, was found dead in the remote town of Motzorongo, near the border with the state of Puebla. Locals reported Mr. Valdivia’s body to local authorities on the afternoon of September 9. He was found on the town’s railroad tracks with his motorcycle nearby. Members of the police later determined that Mr. Valdivia had been murdered and beheaded before being placed on the tracks and his death made to appear as an accident.
Reuters reports that another newspaper staff member, who did not want to be identified, reported that “Valdivia was found the near the train tracks, beheaded and tortured.”
Mr. Valdivia covered the police beat for Diario El Mundo de Cordoba, the largest circulation daily in central Veracruz; he also specialized in nota roja journalism which focuses on crime and violence. He was known to cover an area afflicted by gang violence. According to authorities, he had been receiving threats in recent months, but no further details have been reported.
Hugo Gutiérrez Maldonado, the Secretary of Public Security, issued a statement condemning the Mr. Valdivia’s murder and affirmed that they will coordinate hand in hand with the State Government to find those responsible.
According to Wikipedia’s page tabulating journalists and media workers killed in Mexico, Valdivia becomes the seventh journalist killed this year after the death on August 21 of independent journalist Juan Nelcio Espinoza Menera while in police custody in the northern state of Coahuila. He also becomes the 32nd death of a journalist in Veracruz since 2008 around the beginning of the Mexican Drug War and at least fourth since the start of the administration of Veracruz Governor Cuitláhuac García Jiménez in 2018.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent global nonprofit organization that defends and promotes press freedom, condemned the “terrible events” and issued an “urgent call” for authorities to identify those responsible.
- Spanish-language story from La Silla Rota Veracruz: A reporter from Veracruz, Julio Valdivia, found beheaded
- Spanish-language story from El Mundo: Regional reporter for Diario El Mundo found murdered
- Spanish-language story from AP News: Report: Reporter murdered and decapitated in south of Mexico
- English-language story from Reuters: Mexican journalist who wrote about crime found beheaded
- English-language story from Mexico News Daily: Journalist found murdered and beheaded in Veracruz