Who was Julio Valdivia? Journalist who reported on gang violence found tortured and beheaded near train tracks
Julio Valdivia was a Mexican journalist who had been reporting on crime, security, and gang violence, was found tortured and beheaded near train tracks
A Mexican journalist who had been reporting on crimes taking place in Veracruz had been found murdered and decapitated close to train tracks on Wednesday, September 9. Forty-four-year-old Julio Valdivia had written about gruesome and brutal crimes that had occurred in the gang violence-filled area of Gulf Coast state. Valdivia's death had been disclosed by the Diario El Mundo, the newspaper that he worked for.
The victims' body and a motorcycle were found close to train tracks in the town of Motzorongo. As per the New York Post, a newspaper staff said there had been initial indications that a train could have run over Valdivia, which was eventually ruled out by the prosecutor's office.
The staffer revealed that Valdivia had been "beheaded and tortured." It has been reported that Valdivia is the fourth journalist killed in Mexico this year. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, half of all journalist murders worldwide have covered in Mexico.
The CEAPP, which is a local media protection group shared in a statement that Valdivia had no protection whatsoever as he had not reported any threats to his security. The Veracruz government took to Twitter to share, "We condemn the homicide of Julio Valdivia."
Valdivia had joined El Mundo in 2014 and had been the regional correspondent for the newspaper in Tenzonapa, CPJ reports. He had been covering many issues and recently had started focusing on crime and security. His colleague revealed, "The border region between Veracruz and Oaxaca is a very complicated place to report on. There are gangs involved in drug trafficking and oil theft and a lot of people have been killed there recently."
The colleague added how El Mundo does not include the byline of the journalist as that could risk the correspondent's safety. On September 8, El Mundo's Facebook page featured a report which had videos and images that were credited to Valdivia regarding a shootout in Cosolapa, which is a town close to Tezonapa.
Earlier this year on March 30, a journalist Maria Elena Ferral was murdered in Veracruz.
Many social media users were left horrified and commented on the news on Twitter. One such user shared, "If you want to hurt someone you hurt what they love if you want to send a message you hurt that person if you want to send a warning, you mutilate that person."
if you want to hurt someone you hurt what they love— Mimac (@MSFB3rd) September 10, 2020
if you want to send a message you hurt that person
if you want to send a warning, you mutilate that person
Another wrote, "And reporters continue to die, who do everything to keep us informed, the sad reality of Veracruz, in the downtown area ... Rest in peace." (translated from Spanish to English via Google)
Y siguen muriendo reporteros, que hacen todo por mantenernos informados, la triste realidad de Veracruz, en la zona centro.... Descanse en paz— Carolina Mares Moran (@CarolinaMaresM1) September 11, 2020
Many others commented on another social media platform, Facebook, and condemned the heinous killing. One such user shared, " The cartels have power, because certain people allow them to have that power." Another commented and wrote, "Jesus people, this world has become increasingly insane in the 38 years I've been watching."
"He must have known too much. So sad. The assult (sic) on journalists needs to stop!" shared yet another user. "Veracruz is the deadliest state in the world for journalists. It's so sad," added a social media user.