almost fifteen years in prison for one of the murderers of journalist Javier Valdez

Mexican journalist Javier Valdez was killed in 2017 when he left his office.
Mexican journalist Javier Valdez was killed in 2017 when he left his office. JULIO CESAR AGUILAR / AFP

One of the murderers of a Mexican journalist killed in 2017, Javier Valdez Cardenas, a collaborator with Agence France-Presse, was sentenced on Thursday February 27 to fourteen years and eight months in prison, a first in the country, for the murder of a press representative.

Heriberto Picos Barraza, nicknamed "the Koala", was one of the perpetrators of this crime committed in Cualiacan (northwest), according to the prosecutor's office specializing in crimes against freedom of expression (Feadle). He had served as a driver for two men, Juan Francisco Picos Barrueto and Luis Idelfonso Sanchez, who shot the man on May 15, 2017 outside his office.

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Wave of international outrage

The murder of the co-founder of the weekly Riodoce and daily worker La Jornadahailed for investigating drug trafficking, sparked international outrage.

The prosecution ordered that the convicted person pay 9 million pesos (about 420,000 euros) to the journalist's family. The sum is to be paid by the Executive Victim Care Commission (CEAV), a branch of the Home Office.

The prosecution believes that the assassination was ordered by the son of a drug trafficker, Damaso Lopez Serrano, furious at having been criticized in an article by Riodoce, and now incarcerated in the United States. Lopez Serrano, who allegedly paid 100,000 pesos (nearly 4,700 euros) and supplied the weapons, has always denied.

Juan Francisco Picos Barrueto having refused to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of twenty years and eight months in prison, he is to be tried in March as the main perpetrator of the assassination.

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The World with AFP


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