Journalists Killed  |  Brazil

Valderlei Canuto Leandro

Radio Frontera

September 1, 2011, in Tabatinga, Brazil

Canuto, 32, a radio journalist who hosted the show "Sinal Verde" (Green Signal), was shot at least eight times by unidentified assailants on a motorcycle in the city of Tabatinga, in the state of Amazonas, local press reports said. He had been returning from a local marketplace a block away from his home, his brother Alderli Canuto told CPJ.

Canuto was known for his criticism of local authorities, according to Blog Da Floresta, a local news blog. In May, Canuto had filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office alleging that Tabatinga Mayor Samuel Benerguy had threatened him concerning his coverage of alleged corruption, local press reports said.

In a September 9 article posted on Blog Da Floresta, Benerguy said he had no involvement in Canuto's killing and had never threatened the journalist. The mayor told Blog Da Floresta that he was saddened by the Canuto's death and wanted the crime to be solved.

Sávio Pinzon, police chief in the state's capital, Manaus, told CPJ that authorities were looking into the journalist's work as a possible motive.


Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.


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