A suspect was held in connection with the murder of veteran journalist Javier Valdez, Mexican authorities reported late Monday.
“I congratulate the Federal Police of Mexico, the National Security Commission and the Attorney General's Office, which in a joint operation a few moments ago arrested the alleged perpetrator of the murder of journalist Javier Valdez, who was unfortunately deprived of his life last year in Sinaloa,” Alfonso Navarrete, secretary of the Interior, said.
Navarrete said the “presumed (person) responsible for the killing” was nabbed in the joint operation. The minister offered no further details about the arrest.
However, Riodoce online newspaper – where Valdez was employed – disclosed that the suspect was arrested in the Mexican border city of Tijuana. The news site alleged that the motive of the killing was likely related to information Valdez had published prior to his death.
The journalist was gunned down in Culiacan in the western state of Sinaloa on May 15, 2017.
Sinaloa has been plagued by a spike in violence, believed to be the result of warring gangs, since the arrest and extradition of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States.
Some 12 journalists were killed in Mexico in 2017.
The Mexican Government has faced strong criticism from human rights activists and journalists regarding the investigation of the deaths of journalists.
Valdez was awarded the Press Freedom Award of the Committee for the Protection of Journalists and the Maria Moors Cabot with the team of the weekly Ríodoce in 2011.
The veteran, whose career spanned 30 years, was also the author of works such as “Narcoperiodismo”, “Levantones”, “With a Grenade in Your Mouth” and “Huérfanos del Narco.”