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May 22, 2017
June 6, 2017



Journalism as a target and the cowardly murder of Javier Valdez, correspondent of the Day.



By: Teresa Montaño

Of Journalism as target and the coward assassination of Javier Valdez, correspondent of the newspaper La Jornada.

Javier Valdez Cárdenas was a street journalist, he was formed at the sidewalks’ editorial staff, in the middle of shootings, dead people, beheaded, executed, reckless hitmen aged between 13 and 17 years old; he was made between victims’ families that never stop mourning their dead, no matter what their side was. For those mothers, fathers, brothers who were interviewed by Javier, all of them were victims, as he is now.

It is impossible to put across what his lost means, because for many of us, he was one of the fresh masters of the journalistic narrative, an example of tireless struggle in order to show, describe, detail, to not let die the reality, to expose it, broadcast it no matter how cruel and terrible was, somebody had to do it and he never let aside such compromise. He knew he had a gift and he shared it and put it at the community’s service until he died. His gift was his curse.

He as just a few achieved to file and report the terrible moment that Mexico is living, he gave birth to astonishing phenomena which are endorsed to the stupid war vs drug trafficking in which everyone is killing each other. Thanks to his long-range works, phenomena such as the so-called “levantones” (lifters) –title of one of his books-, when that organized crime’s modus operandi was at its maximum point; before the Tlatlaya issue or Ayotzinapa, Valdez had already dived and given clues in his writings, about the connections between criminal groups and police corporations and the huge damage they were causing to the communities in the north of the country. He reported with a spooky description how the “patrols of death” were working in Sinaloa and other states in the north.

He also was one of the first journalists in spotlighting the results of these crimes, kids and teenagers thrown to the claws of mafias; orphan kids and young people turned into living dead, with no hope of a future of any kind or chances to get a worthy development; parents in permanent mourning after they lost their sons, daughters. The displaced ones out of the war of blood, something that it isn’t so mentioned was described as well by Javier.

His depth and hard research could have been the light for the authorities in the middle of so much darkness, of course if the authorities were really interested in solving these crimes, but no, they prefer to turn him into a shadow. Is it useful somehow to say that he is the 105th journalist assassinated in Mexico in recent years, after Miroslava Breach? and that there have been killed 44 colleagues so far in Enrique Peña’s regime? It has been said millions of times that Mexico is the worst place to practice this profession.

For the critical journalist and for those who make journalistic research, life is becoming into an immense X. Who is going to be the next target tomorrow? Will we be able to see our kids, brothers or parents? Will we hug them again after an investigation or a coverage? Will we go back home? This or that research won’t be dangerous, will they respect our lives?

How long?
In the middle of all of this, who is with us? Who cares about our job when the country is rotting and going to hell?
Javier Valdez has left a huge empty space in Journalism, but even more within his family, in his beloved ones. Not so long ago, he said to Animal Político (a journalistic site specialized in politics): “The worst thing would be to be forbidden to dream, having illusions, forbidden to want to be better, to hope for justice and peace, and holding the dignity. The worst would be to stop stoning stars. We can’t allow that. It doesn’t matter if we don’t overthrow any of them.”

Wherever you are keep stoning stars.
For the way it affects the journalistic guild in Mexico, we won’t resign ourselves and we have started the resistance to demand justice.

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