Javier Valdez Cárdenas was shot in broad daylight on a street in Culiacán, Mexico, not far from the office of the newspaper he founded, Ríodoce. His killing, on May 15, adds to concerns that violence is smothering free speech in Mexico. At least three other journalists there have been killed this year, more than in any other country. This trend is undermining Mexican democracy.
Mexico, like the United States, enshrines freedom of expression in its Constitution. Healthy democracies need free, active, independent news media to report on issues and events so residents can discuss and debate them, cast better-informed votes, and hold politicians accountable. When violence, or threats of violence, silences reporters, democratic government falters.