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 Maranhão, called the crime "an attack on democracy," news reports said.
Four days after the murder, authorities said two suspects were being held on charges of helping the assassin escape, according to press reports. On June 13, authorities arrested seven more people they said were involved in the murder as accomplices and plotters. The suspects included local businessmen and a deputy chief of police, according to news 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 loan-sharking, extortion, and embezzlement practices, 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
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Criminal Group
Taken Captive: No
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