January 14, 1998, in Itabuna, BrazilLeal, publisher and editor of A Regiao, the largest weekly in southern Bahia State, was shot dead by assailants who had followed him as he was driving home. Leal was known for his critical reporting on local authorities, and he frequently denounced the mayor of Itabuna and a civil police marshal in the Bahia capital, Salvador, for corruption. Although two witnesses identified one of the assailants, police never questioned him, and the investigation has been closed. CPJ urged President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to launch an investigation by federal police, since local journalists fear that local authorities may have targeted Leal.
Beats Covered: Corruption
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Government Officials
Taken Captive: No