MEXICO CITY, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Writer and journalist Javier Valdez Cardenas was shot dead in the city of Culiacan, capital of Mexico's northwestern state of Sinaloa, state authorities announced on Monday.
According to reports, the journalist specialized in covering the drug trafficking was driving at 12 p.m. along the Vicente Riva Palacio street when a gunman stopped him, forced him to get out of his car and shot him dead.
The body of Valdez Cardenas was left lying in the street, near the office of the Riodoce weekly, a publication he founded and edited.
Police later found his car abandoned a few streets away, where it had been left by the gunman, according to the state prosecutor, Juan Jose Rios.
Rios added that the murder is presumed to have been related to Valdez Cardenas'journalistic work.
"It is part of the investigation we will be carrying out," he told the press after arriving at the scene of the crime.
He revealed that investigators and forensic specialists from Mexico's prosecutor-general's office were on their way to help in the inquiry.
Aged 50, the journalist had been a correspondent for national daily, La Jornada, since 1998 and had written a number of books on drug trafficking and gangs in Mexico.
Valdez Cardenas is the fifth Mexican journalist killed since March 2, following other murders in the states of Guerrero, Veracruz, Chihuahua and Baja California Sur.