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What Real Risk Is: Julio Valdivia - by Hans Freeman

  • Page ID
    187936
    • Hans Freeman at Pima Community College

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    What does real risk look like? Is risk just getting out of your comfort zone, is it putting your life in danger for others, or is it somewhere in between? For the Mexican reporter Julio Valdivia, real risk was giving your life to help inform others. Julio Valdivia gave his life in the lineof duty as a reporter for the Mexican news company, El Mundo. Valdivia joined El Mundo in 2014. There he,”was the regional correspondent for the newspaper in Tezonapa” (The John S.and James L. Knight Foundation Press, 2021). Julio Valdivia is known today for his heroic reports on crime and safety in Tezonapa and his tragic death at the hands of gang violence.

    Julio Valdivia joined as a simple reporter who reported on many things in his life, but what he will be remembered for are his reports on the crime and safety (or lack thereof) in Tezonapa. A report on the area of Tezonapa recently states that, “Tezonapa has seen a significant spike in deadly violence this year,” (The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Press, 2021). This spike in violence is what brings Valdivia to this area, as he is sent to report on the gang clashes and oil theft. Additionally this violence is what causes the death of many local sugar cane farmers, which also make their way into reports. Julio Valdivia, “specialized in ‘nota roja’ journalism, focusing on grisly stories in a state plagued by gang violence” (Woods,2020). Once again, this demonstrates the risk Julio Valdivia faced to share the story.

    Unfortunately this coverage of gangs and violence is what would lead him to his death.

    Julio Valdivia was “found murdered and decapitated close to train tracks on Wednesday,September 9,” (Ghose, 2020). Reports also suggest that Valdivia had been run over by the train,as his company provided motorcycle that he left on that morning, was found nearby. After the local government took to Twitter about the murder they disprove any theories of the train, as well as no mention of his head being found. Horrified social media users left several comments, one of which being, “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” and “He must have known too much. So sad. The assault (sic) on journalists needs to stop!" (Ghose, 2020)

    Unfortunately, there is not much information about Julio Valdivia’s death other than what has already been mentioned. There is much mystery still surrounding this case. Things such as, “What gang is responsible for this heinous act?” and “What did he know to make him a target?” still have yet to be answered. Valdivia will be known for his courageous reports on gang violence and their crimes, his drive to risk it all for the story and will be forever mourned. However, to some of us now, Julio Valdivia will be remembered as a man who knew what real risk is.

    References:

    Dunham, J. (2020, September 10). Mexican reporter Julio Valdivia found beheaded in Veracruz State. Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://cpj.org/2020/09/mexican-repo...eracruz-state/

    Ghose, I. (2020, September 11). Mexican journalist Julio Valdivia who reported on gang violence found tortured and beheaded near train tracks. MEAWW. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://meaww.com/julio-valdivia-mex...ed-drug-cartel

    The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Press. (2021). Julio Valdivia. Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://cpj.org/data/people/julio-valdivia/Woods, A. (2020, September 11).

    Mexican journalist Julio Valdivia found beheaded near train tracks. New York Post. Retrieved November 15, 2022, from https://nypost.com/2020/09/10/julio-...rime-beheaded/


    This page titled What Real Risk Is: Julio Valdivia - by Hans Freeman is shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Hans Freeman at Pima Community College.