For the approximately 150 journalists and opinion leaders gathered in Mexico City’s Casa Lamm Cultural Center, the evening of July 15 was a difficult one. They came together to pay homage to the life and work of Javier Valdez Cardenas, one of the country’s most celebrated investigative reporters, who had been brutally murdered two months earlier in Culiacan, the capital of the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa.
The event—organized by press freedom groups the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, and Reporters Without Borders, known by its French acronym, RSF—was a solemn affair. A parade of speakers read from Valdez’s books, in which he chronicled the victims of Mexico’s brutal drug war, and reminisced about their personal bonds with the reporter. But the fondness for Valdez on display was overshadowed by anger, grief and, for some, desperation over the incessant, horrendous violence plaguing Mexico’s press.
Listen to Jan-Albert Hootsen discuss this article on WPR's Trend Lines Podcast. His audio begins at 19:52: