Rio de Janeiro, November 10, 2022 – A Goiás state court jury in Brazil on Wednesday convicted and sentenced four men in connection with the 2012 murder of Brazilian sports journalist Valério Luiz de Oliveira, according to reports and statements by the court and prosecutor’s office.
After a three-day jury trial, Maurício Borges Sampaio was sentenced to 16 years in prison for masterminding the killing. Found guilty of participating in planning and carrying out the crime, the court sentenced Ademá Figuerêdo Aguiar Filho to 16 years in prison and Marcus Vinicius Pereira Xavier and Urbano de Carvalho Malta to 14 years. A fifth accused individual was found not guilty.
“The decision by a Goiás jury to convict those responsible for the murder of Valério Luiz de Oliveira is an encouraging sign, although it should not have taken 10 years,” said Natalie Southwick, CPJ’s Latin America and the Caribbean program coordinator. “Murders of Brazilian journalists rarely lead to the convictions of the masterminds, and we are relieved that the Oliveira family’s decade-long quest for justice has not ended in impunity. We hope this sets a new precedent for Brazilian authorities in bringing the killers of journalists to justice.”
Oliveira was shot and killed on July 5, 2012, in the city of Goiânia. In March 2013, the Goiás state public prosecutor charged the five men. Since then, multiple appeals from defense attorneys and decisions by the Goiás Court of Justice have postponed proceedings, as CPJ documented.
Brazil was ninth on CPJ’s 2022 Global Impunity Index, which ranks countries where journalists are regularly murdered in retaliation for their work and their killers go free.