Crime reporter shot and wounded

New York, September 20, 2007—Brazilian reporter Amaury Ribeiro Jr. was shot on Wednesday afternoon while investigating a story on organized crime in the outskirts of the capital city of Brasília. The journalist is in stable condition.

Ribeiro, an investigative crime reporter for the Brasília-based daily Correio Braziliense, was waiting for a source at a bar in the Brasília suburb of Cidade Ocidente when a young man shot him in the abdomen, his colleague Leonel Rocha told CPJ. The assailant also shot at Ribeiro’s driver but he escaped uninjured, said Rocha. Ribeiro was taken to a nearby hospital.

“We condemn the violent attack against our colleague Amaury Ribeiro Jr, and we are relieved that he is in stable condition,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “We urge Brazilian authorities to conduct a careful and prompt investigation into the attack and to bring all those responsible to justice.”

Brasília police arrested a minor in connection with the attack this morning, but was released this afternoon, the Brazilian press reported.

Ribeiro was investigating possible links between drug trafficking, sexual exploitation of minors, and the killings of teenagers in Brasília when he was shot, Rocha said. Correio Braziliense has reported on the deaths of 150 people between the ages of 18 and 26 during the first six months of the year in a group of Brasília suburbs known as Entorno. The paper linked the deaths to drug trafficking.