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Appendix: Journalists killed in Brazil since January 1, 2011

CPJ research has determined that at least 12 journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work since Dilma Rousseff was inaugurated as president on January 1, 2011. Another five have been killed in unclear circumstances, and CPJ continues to investigate those cases.

The following are details of the confirmed cases, in which CPJ is reasonably certain that a journalist was murdered in direct reprisal for his or her work; killed in crossfire during combat situations; or killed while carrying out a dangerous assignment such as coverage of a street protest.

 

 

Luciano Leitão Pedrosa
TV Vitória and Radio Metropolitana FM
April 9, 2011, in Vitória de Santo Antão, Brazil

Television and radio journalist Pedrosa was shot at a restaurant in Vitória de Santo Antão in northeastern Pernambuco state, according to press reports.

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An assailant fired multiple shots after entering the restaurant at about 9 p.m., the Recife-based daily Diario de Pernambuco reported. Pedrosa, struck once in the head, was pronounced dead at the scene. The unidentified gunman fled on a motorcycle driven by another individual who had been waiting outside, press reports said.

Pedrosa, 46, had hosted a program on TV Vitória, "Ação e Cidadania" (Action and Citizenship), for seven years, and had reported for the FM radio station Metropolitana. According to press reports, Pedrosa was known for his critical coverage of criminals and municipal authorities. 

Police initially told reporters that the gunman had declared it was a robbery. But in February 2012, police officials announced they had arrested three suspects and had concluded that the killing was tied to Pedrosa's journalism, according to news reports. Investigators said brothers Josemir and Josemar Soares da Silva had organized the murder in reprisal for Pedrosa's reports on their alleged drug trafficking. Police identifiedDailton Gomes Brasil as the alleged gunman. A fourth alleged conspirator was himself murdered later in 2011.

Police said the brothers had threatened Pedrosa, including once on the journalist's live television program.

MEDIUM: Radio, Television
JOB: Columnist / Commentator
BEATS COVERED: Crime
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Criminal Group
IMPUNITY: Yes
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

 

Edinaldo Filgueira
Jornal o Serrano
June 15, 2011, in Serra do Mel, Brazil

Edinaldo Filgueira was leaving his office at night when he was shot six times and killed by three unidentified men on a motorcycle, according to the Brazilian press. He died at the scene.

Filgueira, 36, was the founder and director of the local newspaper Jornal o Serrano. He was also the regional director of the ruling Workers Party (PT) and wrote a blog in which he criticized political adversaries. According to local press reports, Filgueira had recently published a critical poll on the performance of the local government on his blog, after which he received death threats.

On July 2, a joint force of federal and local police arrested several suspects who they said belonged to a gang of contract killers. They also seized weapons and large quantities of ammunition in the arrests. Federal police chief Marcelo Mosele confirmed to CPJ at the time that they had ruled out other possibilities and were exclusively focusing on Filgueira's journalistic work as the motive for the crime.

On December 5, 2013, seven men were convicted of planning and participating in the crime, including the gunman, and received sentences ranging from 19 to 23 years in prison, according to news reports. One of the men, who is considered a fugitive, was sentenced in absentia. Josivan Bibiano, who was mayor of Serro do Mel at the time of Filgueira's death, was charged with being the mastermind of the crime but, after being jailed twice, was released, according to news reports. There has been no movement in his case since. A blog set up in remembrance of Filguiera reported that Bibiano is the cousin of three of the convicted men.

The prosecutor in the case said Filguiera was killed because he had been denouncing corruption in the city government.

The day after the conviction, Marcos José de Oliveira Ferreira, a cousin of Filguiera's who had traveled to Serro do Mel from Sao Paulo to participate in the sentencing hearing, was murdered by unidentified gunmen. No motive has been established but authorities have not ruled out a possible tie to the blogger's case, according to news reports.

MEDIUM: Print
JOB: Editor, Publisher / Owner
BEATS COVERED: Politics
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Unknown Fire
IMPUNITY: Partial
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

 

Gelson Domingos da Silva
Bandeirantes TV
November 6, 2011, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

AP

Domingos, 46, was shot and killed during a confrontation between state police and suspected drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro, according to press reports. Domingos was a veteran cameraman for the national television network Bandeirantes. 

Domingos had accompanied police on an early-morning raid at the favela, or shantytown, known as Antares, news reports said. Footage from Domingos' camera showed he was struck amid an intense exchange of fire between police and the suspects. Officials said the cameraman was struck by a shot to the chest fired from a high-powered assault rifle. Domingos was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, but it was not strong enough to withstand the blast, news reportssaid.

Four suspects were killed and nine arrested in the raid, which also netted weapons, drugs, and money, press reports said. No police fatalities were reported. Officials said they were trying to identify the individual who shot Domingos.

MEDIUM: Television
JOB: Camera Operator
BEATS COVERED: Crime
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Dangerous Assignment
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Unknown Fire
IMPUNITY: Yes

 

Mario Randolfo Marques Lopes
Vassouras na Net
February 9, 2012, in Barra do Piraí, Brazil

The bodies of Randolfo and his companion, Maria Aparecida Guimarães, were found in the city of Barra do Piraí in Rio de Janeiro state. Both had been abducted from Randolfo's home the night before and had been shot to death early that morning, news reports said.

Randolfo, 50, editor-in-chief of the news website Vassouras na Net, had frequently accused local officials of corruption and had reported on an alleged network of assassins run by a former police chief, according to news reports and the journalist's website. His most recent article accused local judges and courts of being corrupt and too powerful, CPJ research shows.

The journalist was also attacked in 2011, according to news reports. In July 2011, an unidentified gunman entered the Vassouras na Net newsroom, in the city of Vassouras, and shot him five times in the head, which left him in a coma for three days, Randolforeported on his website. He survived and, for his safety, decided to move to Barra do Piraí, but did not stop working on his website.

In an interview posted on his website, Randolfo said he believed he was targeted in 2011 in retaliation for his reporting on irregularities in the investigation of a local murder. No one was charged or arrested for the attack, news reports said.

News reports said authorities were investigating a possible political motive in the 2012 murder. Police chief José Mário Salomão de Omena told reporters, "He created such a large volume of enemies that it is even difficult to know where to start."

MEDIUM: Internet
JOB: Internet Reporter
BEATS COVERED: Corruption, Crime, Politics
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Government Officials
IMPUNITY: Yes
TAKEN CAPTIVE: Yes
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

 

Décio Sá
O Estado do Maranhão and Blog do Décio
April 23, 2012, in São Luis, Brazil

Sá, 42, a Brazilian political journalist and blogger, was shot six times while sitting in a bar, according to news reports. The assailant fled the scene with a motorcyclist who was waiting outside, the reports said.

Sá wrote about politics for the local newspaper O Estado do Maranhão for about 17 years, according to news reports. He was also known for his coverage of politicians and corruption on his blog, Blog do Décio, which was one of the most widely read in the state, news reports said. Cezar Scanssette, a journalist at O Estado do Maranhão, told CPJ that Sá had many enemies because of his critical reporting.

Investigators told reporters that the murder was a contract killing carried out by professionals who had most likely mapped out Sá's daily routine, news reports said. Police considered Sá's blog reporting as the likely motive for the murder, the reports said. José Sarney, president of the Brazilian Senate and whose family owns O Estado do Maranhãocalled the crime "an attack on democracy," news reports said.

In the months following the attack, authorities arrested at least nine suspects who they said were accomplices and plotters and were linked to a loan shark ring that Sá had tied to a local murder in his blog, according to press reports. The suspects included local businessman Gláucio Alencar, accused of being the leader of the ring and of ordering Sá's murder, and a deputy chief of police, both of whom denied the charges, according tonews reports.

Suspect Jhonatan de Sousa Silva told police he was the gunman and had been hired by the other defendants. Sousa said the defendants were angered by Sá's reporting on their alleged loan-sharking, extortion, and embezzlement practices, according to news reports. In February 2014, Sousa was sentenced to 25 years and three months in jail, according to news reports. Marcos Bruno Oliveira, who claimed he was innocent, was sentenced to 18 years and three months on charges of transporting Sousa to and from the crime. Alencar and the police officer, as well as the other remaining suspects, currently await trial, according to news reports.
Sá is survived by his wife, who was pregnant, and an 8-year-old daughter.

MEDIUM: Print, Internet
JOB: Internet Reporter, Print Reporter
BEATS COVERED: Corruption, Politics
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Criminal Group
IMPUNITY: Partial
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

 

Valério Luiz de Oliveira
Radio Jornal
July 5, 2012, in Goiânia, Brazil

An unidentified gunman on a motorcycle shot Luiz, 49, at least four times outside his offices at Radio Jornal, where he hosted a sports program, news reports said.

Luiz was known for his critical commentary, particularly regarding the management of the local soccer team Atletico Goianiense, according to news reports. Before his death, he had been banned entry from the premises of the team's headquarters, news reports said.

Manoel de Oliveira, a well-known sports commentator and the journalist's father, said he believed his son's death was related to his reporting and that he had "lost his son because of football," the TV station Globo reported. Lorena Nascimento de Oliveira, Luiz's wife, said he had told her he was concerned by problems he had had with people involved with the sport, the Globo report said. She did not offer further details.

The management of the Atletico Goianiense team put out a statement condemning the murder and calling for a full investigation. "Luiz was known for his commentary, which at times angered some sectors of the club, but on the other hand, his strong opinions also informed the club's decision-making and helped Atletico grow," the statement said.

Adriana Ribeiro de Barros, head of the state's homicide unit, noted the journalist's controversial opinions and said they would be investigating the case.

MEDIUM: Radio
JOB: Columnist / Commentator
BEATS COVERED: Sports
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Unknown Fire
IMPUNITY: Yes
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

 

Eduardo Carvalho
Última Hora News
November 21, 2012, in Campo Grande, Brazil

A motorcycle-riding assailant shot Carvalho, editor and owner of the news website Última Hora News, at his home in Campo Grande, capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state, according to news reports. Carvalho often covered local corruption, news reports said.

The journalist and his wife were arriving home at night when the gunman, riding on the back of a motorcycle, shot him at least three times. Carvalho's wife retrieved a gun the journalist carried, but the weapon was locked and she could not return fire, according to news reports. The gunman and the motorcycle driver fled the scene.

Carvalho, a former military police officer, frequently wrote critical reports about police and politicians, according to Última Hora News. The website reported that the journalist was authorized to carry a gun because he had been threatened and had survived an earlier assassination attempt. Police officials told reporters that Carvalho had been the subject of many lawsuits related to his reporting.

His most recent story, published on the day of his murder, accused an unnamed military police official of intimidating local citizens. Divino Furtado Mendonça, the municipal police chief, told reporters that investigators were focusing on Carvalho's journalistic work as the likely motive, according to news reports.

MEDIUM: Internet
JOB: Publisher / Owner
BEATS COVERED: Corruption, Crime
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Government Officials
IMPUNITY: Yes
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

 

Mafaldo Bezerra Goes
FM Rio Jaguaribe
February 22, 2013, in Jaguaribe, Brazil

Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot Goes as he walked from his house to the radio station where he worked, according to news reports. Goes, who hosted a radio show on FM Rio Jaguaribe in the city of Jaguaribe, in the northern state of Ceará, was shot at least five times in the head and abdomen, the reports said.

Goes had often denounced local criminal groups and drug traffickers on his program, according to news reports. Family members told the local media that Goes had received death threats, according to news reports. The police said the reporter had not filed a formal complaint.

Authorities said they believed the murder could be related to Goes' reporting on crime. "He died because of his profession. He made a lot of people angry," said Police Chief Vera Lúcia Passos Granja in local reports.

Police said on Sunday that they had identified the gunmen and that they suspected the murder had been ordered by a drug dealer imprisoned in the city of Fortaleza but who operated in Jaguaribe, according to the newspaper Diário do Nordeste. Authorities said they were looking for the suspects, local reports said. A week after the crime, police officials said they were seeking preventative detention for the two suspects but did not provide more details.

MEDIUM: Radio
JOB: Broadcast Reporter
BEATS COVERED: Crime
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Criminal Group
IMPUNITY: Yes
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

 

Rodrigo Neto
Rádio Vanguarda and Vale do Aço
March 8, 2013, in Ipatinga, Brazil

Two unidentified men on a motorcycle shot Neto as he was getting into his car after attending a local barbecue in Ipatinga, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, according to news reports. The journalist died at a local hospital.

Neto was the host of the show "Plantão Policial" (Police Shift) on Rádio Vanguarda in Ipatinga and had started working the week before as a reporter at the daily Vale do Aço. He was also a press aide for the local mayor, according to Fernando Benedito Jr., a journalist in Ipatinga and a friend of Neto.

Benedito told CPJ that Neto, who had once wanted to be a police officer, had aggressively covered police corruption throughout his career. He said Neto had frequently received threats, especially for his coverage of cases in which police officers were suspected of being involved in local murders. Durval Ângelo, a state congressman and president of the state assembly's human rights commission, said that Neto had been working on a book about one of these cases at the time of his death that he planned to title "The Perfect Crime," Vale do Aço reported.

News accounts reported local authorities as saying that they would be primarily looking into his journalistic work as the possible motive. In the days after the murder, law enforcement officers said Neto had twice reported being threatened to the authorities, most recently in February 2012, according to news reports.

Journalists in Ipatinga told CPJ that the local press corps had formed the "Rodrigo Neto Committee" to investigate the murder and keep pressure on authorities to solve the case.

MEDIUM: Print, Radio
JOB: Broadcast Reporter, Print Reporter
BEATS COVERED: Crime
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Government Officials
IMPUNITY: Yes
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

 

Walgney Assis Carvalho
Freelance
April 14, 2013, in Coronel Fabriciano, Brazil

An unidentified assailant shot Carvalho, 43, at least twice in the back as he sat at a popular fishing hole and restaurant, before riding away on a motorcycle, according to news reports. Carvalho was a freelance photographer who contributed to the daily Vale do Aço in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

Durval Ângelo, a state congressman and president of the State Assembly's human rights commission, posted on Twitter that authorities should investigate a possible link between Carvalho's murder and that of Vale do Aço journalist Rodrigo Neto on March 8, according to news reports. The congressman said that Carvalho had apparently told people he knew who had murdered Neto, but did not offer further details.

Neto had covered police corruption throughout his career, and had frequently received threats, especially for his coverage of cases in which police officers were suspected of being involved in local murders. Vale do Aço reported that Carvalho also did photography work for the local police. 

Fernando Benedito Jr., a local journalist and friend of Neto, told CPJ in an email, "Like Rodrigo, he [Carvalho] knew too much."

In the weeks after the murder, Minas Gerais state police chief Cylton Brandão announced a shuffling of law enforcement leadership and, while he said police couldn't yet confirm that the two journalist murders were linked, acknowledged the possibility of police involvement.

In late April, authorities announced that several police officers had been placed in preventative detention in connection with one of the murder cases that Neto had been investigating. Local journalists interpreted the news as a hopeful sign that the authorities were beginning to hold criminal police officers accountable, but it was unclear if and how exactly the suspects had any links to the Neto and Carvalho murders.

MEDIUM: Print
JOB: Photographer
BEATS COVERED: Crime
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: Yes
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Government Officials
IMPUNITY: Yes
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: No

 

Santiago Ilídio Andrade
Bandeirantes
February 10, 2014, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Andrade, cameraman for the television network Bandeirantes, was filming a confrontation in Rio de Janeiro between police officers and demonstrators protesting a public transportation fare hike when a flare hit him in the head, according to news reports. He underwent surgery at a local hospital and was in a coma for four days before being declared brain dead.

Initial reports conflicted as to who was responsible for the attack, but authorities released video footage that appeared to show protesters launching the device. Authorities also alleged that the protesters had meant to target police officers, not the journalist, the reports said.

On February 8, 2014, Fábio Raposo told authorities that he had given the explosive device to another protester but had not ignited it himself, according to news reports. Two days later, authorities said they had identified the protester believed responsible for shooting the device. On February 12, the suspect, Caio Silva de Souza, was incustody. Souza said he did not realize at the time that the flare was an explosive device, according to news reports. Raposo and Souza were placed in preventive detention andcharged with homicide.

MEDIUM: Television
JOB: Camera Operator
BEATS COVERED: Politics
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Dangerous Assignment
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Local Residents

 

Pedro Palma
Panorama Regional
February 13, 2014, in Miguel Pereira, Brazil

Palma was gunned down by two unidentified men on a motorcycle outside his home in Miguel Pereira, a suburb to the south of Rio de Janeiro, and died at the scene, according to news reports. Palma was the owner of the local weekly newspaper Panorama Regional, which was circulated in several nearby municipalities.

News reports said the paper had frequently alleged corruption in the local government. A friend of the publisher told the daily O Globo that Palma had received threats but had not taken them seriously. The journalist's wife also said he had received threats but said she did not know who had made them, according to news reports.

In an issue of Panorma Regional published after Palma's death, his colleague and friend Belisa Ribeiro wrote that he had told her he received threats but did say in relation to which report. In the article and on her Facebook page, Ribeiro said it did not appear that Palma had had been investigating a big political scandal, but that that he had regularly denounced typical small town problems, such as faulty infrastructure and negligent local policies. If this was all it took to get him killed, she wrote, "[then] I am scared."

Military police captain Coronel César Augusto de Souza told local journalists that authorities were looking into a possible link to the newspaper's reports but that all possible motives were being investigated.

MEDIUM: Print
JOB: Publisher / Owner
BEATS COVERED: Corruption, Politics
GENDER: Male
LOCAL OR FOREIGN: Local
FREELANCE: No
TYPE OF DEATH: Murder
SUSPECTED SOURCE OF FIRE: Government Officials
IMPUNITY: Yes
TAKEN CAPTIVE: No
TORTURED: No
THREATENED: Yes

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