Rio de Janeiro, May 12, 2020 — Brazilian authorities must thoroughly investigate the recent shooting attack against radio journalist Fábio Márcio and hold the perpetrators to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
On April 28, at about 10:30 a.m., an unidentified person fired one bullet at the vehicle Márcio was driving in the city of Piritiba, in the northeastern state of Bahia, according to news reports and the journalist, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview.
A projectile fragment went through the roof of the car, but did not injure Márcio, who hosts a daily news program on the privately owned Aymoré FM broadcaster, or his colleague, who was also in the vehicle, Márcio told CPJ. He said he could not see where the shooter was located, and did not stop his vehicle after the attack.
“Brazilian authorities should thoroughly investigate the shooting attack on journalist Fábio Márcio and ensure that those responsible are held to account,” said CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick, in New York. “Radio journalists are a vital source of information in small towns across Brazil, and authorities must ensure that they are able to continue informing the public safely.”
Márcio told CPJ he has not recently received any threats, and speculated that the attack may have been in response to his coverage of local news, but could not pinpoint any reports that may have angered anyone. He said he covers general news in the region and also covers politics during election years, including 2020.
Márcio told CPJ he reported the case to the regional police station in Jacobina. He also said he is now hosting his radio program from home for his security.
The press office of the Civil Police of Bahia told CPJ in an email that it was investigating the shooting and had requested a forensic analysis of the vehicle and the projectile fragment.
In 2010, a group of people attacked the office of Brilhante FM, where Márcio was working at the time, in response to his reporting on alleged corruption by candidate in a local election, according to local news reports. The attackers beat up some of the staffers of the radio station before police arrived, according to those reports. Márcio said he was not injured in the incident.
Since early 2018, Brazilian radio journalists have been subject to death threats, bombing attacks, a drive-by shooting, and threats from politicians, according to CPJ research. At least two radio reporters, Jairo Souza and Jefferson Pureza Lopes, have been killed in that time, according to CPJ research.