Official: Mexican reporter Valdez killed because of his work

April 24, 2018
FILE- In this May 16, 2017 file photo, Maria Herrera, a mother who became active in the search for Mexico's missing after four of her sons disappeared, weeps after speaking about murdered journalist Javier Valdez during a protest against the killing of reporters, in front of the Interior Ministry in Mexico City. Mexico's interior Alfonso Navarrete Prida said via Twitter late Monday, April 23, 2018, that federal authorities have arrested a suspect in the killing of internationally recognized journalist Javier Valdez. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s national security commissioner says respected journalist Javier Valdez was killed last year because of his work.

National Security Commissioner Renato Sales also said Tuesday at a brief news conference that the arrest of a suspect in Valdez’s killing was achieved without force. The government announced late Monday that a Sinaloa cartel member known by the nickname “Koala” was arrested in Tijuana.

Weeks before his murder, Valdez interviewed Damaso Lopez, who had been Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s right-hand man leading the Sinaloa cartel. At the time, Lopez was battling Guzman’s sons for control of the cartel.

Valdez’s colleagues and journalism advocates called on the government Tuesday to continue pursuing the mastermind of the May 15, 2017, slaying in the western city of Culiacan.

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