New York, April 29, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is alarmed that two Brazilian radio journalists known for their coverage of corruption and crime were killed last week in remote regions.
On April 24, radio host José Carlos Araújo was killed in the town of Timbaúba, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the state capital of Recife in the northeastern state of Pernambuco. Two unidentified gunmen ambushed and shot Araújo at around 7:30 p.m. outside his home in Timbaúba, according to local news reports. None of the journalist's belongings were stolen.
The 37-year old Araújo hosted the call-in talk show "José Carlos Entrevista" (José Carlos Interviewing) at Rádio Timbaúba FM. Citing police sources, the Recife-based daily Diário de Pernambuco said that Araújo had made several enemies in Timbaúba after denouncing the existence of death squads run by criminal gangs and the involvement of well-known local figures in murders in the region.
According to the Recife daily Folha de Pernambuco, on April 28, police captured Elton Jonas Gonçalves de Oliveira, one of the suspected assassins, who confessed to killing Araújo because the journalist had accused him on the air of being a criminal. Folha de Pernambuco quoted Timbaúba's police chief as saying that Gonçalves claimed that he did not commit all the crimes the journalist accused him of and resented Araújo for giving him a bad reputation.
Journalist killed on Brazil-Paraguay border On April 20 at around 6 p.m., four gunmen on two motorcycles shot radio host Samuel Romã outside his home in Coronel Sapucaia, in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, according to local news reports. Police took the journalist to the municipal hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Romã was a host and owner of Radio Conquista FM, based in the Paraguayan town of Capitán Bado just across the Brazilian border from Coronel Sapucaia.
The 36-year-old Romã was a well-known and outspoken journalist who frequently denounced drug trafficking and crime in the border area, according to the daily Correio do Estado, based in Campo Grande, the state capital. He hosted the one-hour talk show "A Voz do Povo" (The Voice of the People).
According to the daily O Progresso, during several shows before his death, Romã had demanded that police investigate several recent murders in the area. In addition, he had recently announced that he had documents proving that important local figures are involved in organized crime, and that he would disclose their names.
On April 22, Paraguayan police arrested three men suspected of killing Romã and handed them over to Brazilian police, who sent them to Campo Grande.
CPJ continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the journalist's death. In early April, local police had questioned the journalist about his visits to a clandestine gambling parlor, the news Web site Dourados Agora reported. Romã was also a member of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT) and had close ties to local PDT politicians.
"Journalists in Brazil's interior are often defenseless, and impunity for crimes against them seems to be the norm," said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. "We hope that the arrests made in these cases are a sign that the pattern of impunity will be broken, and that the cases will be swiftly and thoroughly prosecuted."
Sao Paulo, January 18, 2018--Brazilian authorities should launch a thorough investigation into the murder of reporter Ueliton Bayer Brizon, and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
Attackers run Brazilian freelance reporter off road and shoot at him
January 9, 2018 3:56 PM ET
São Paulo, January 9, 2018--Brazilian authorities should swiftly and credibly investigate an attack on Gabriel Barbosa da Silva, a part-time freelance reporter, cartoonist, and photographer for the São Paulo publication VerboOnline, and bring his attackers to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
Police search Brazilian blogger's devices in morning raid
March 24, 2017 12:57 PM ET
São Paulo, March 24, 2017--A police search of Brazilian blogger Carlos Eduardo Cairo Guimarães' residence and electronic devices to uncover the sources for a story he had published was an alarming violation of journalists' right to protect their sources, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
O Globo and Folha de S.Paulo ordered to remove reports about Brazil's First Lady
February 15, 2017 3:58 PM ET
São Paulo, February 15, 2017--A judge ordered two of Brazil's biggest national dailies, Folha de S.Paulo and O Globo, to remove stories from their websites about a court case of a hacker convicted of attempted blackmail of Brazil's first lady, Marcela Temer, according to reports in both papers....