Journalists Killed  |  Brazil

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, Randolfo reported 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


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