Assassination of journalists continues in Brazil

Décio Sá, 42, was the fourth Brazilian journalist murdered this year.

Brazilian journalist Décio Sá, 42, was the fourth journalist killed in his country so far this year. Sá was shot seven times on his back and head in a local restaurant in the state capital, San Luis de Maranhão, Northeast of Brazil on Monday night. He was shot by an unidentified gunman who after the shooting escaped on a motorbike driven by an abetter.

Sá had worked for the same newspaper, O Estado de Maranhão, for 17 years as a political reporter mainly covering the political corruption and hired killers in his home country. The reporter’s colleagues are confident that the murder is linked to Sá’s newspaper reports and blogs about the issues he was reporting.

“Over his at least 17 years at the newspaper, he made a long list of enemies, many of whom I imagine would love to see him dead,” Silvia Moscoso, the newspaper’s state affairs editor, announced to the Associated Press news agency after hearing the sad news.

The most devastating piece of news concerning the assassinations is that none of the murderers have been caught yet. This is why The Inter-American Press Association (SIP) has put pressure on the Brazilian authorities to make an accurate and rapid investigation concerning the last homicide.

According to Ricardo Pedreira, executive director of Brazil’s National Association of Journalists: “The frequent reason behind violence against journalists, bloggers and radio journalists is organized crime… Impunity is a problem in Brazil.”

The three other compatriots murdered this year were also specializing in corruption investigations related to politicians and businessmen. They were: Mário Randolfo Marques Lopes, editor-in-chief of the news website Vassoras na Net in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Paulo Rodrigues, editor of the Jornal de Praca in Mato Grosso and Laércio de Souza, a journalist of the Radio Sucesso in the state of Bahía.

The first victim, 50-year-old Mário Randolfo Marques Lopes, had already survived from one murder attempt which took place in his own newsroom leaving him in a coma for three days. After recovering from the incident he continued working from home, but never quit reporting about the same subjects.

The second and fatal attempt led not only to his demise but also to the death of his companion, Maria Aparecide Guimarães. The couple was first kidnapped from their home and then killed by three gunmen who then dumped their bodies next to a highway. Most lately Marques Lopes had been writing about the local judges and courts and about their corrupted position.

Paulo Rodrigues, 51, was the second commentator shot down within only a week from the first incident. Two unknown motorcyclists shot him several times on the road. In the case of Laércio de Souza, 40, some investigators speculate that the murder wasn’t linked with his job as a journalist unlike with the other victims.

The New York City-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPR) declares that 21 Brazilian journalists have been killed since the year 1992 and that Brazil is ranked as the 11th most dangerous country for journalists.


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