Décio Sá

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Sá, 42, a Brazilian political journalist and blogger, was
shot six times while sitting in a bar, according to news
. The assailant fled the scene with a motorcyclist who was waiting
outside, the reports said.

Sá wrote about politics for the local newspaper O Estado
do Maranhão 
for about 17 years, according to news reports. He was also
known for his coverage of politicians and corruption on his blog, Blog do Décio, which was one
of the most widely read in the state, news reports said. Cezar Scanssette, a
journalist at O Estado do Maranhão, told CPJ that Sá had many
enemies because of his critical reporting.

Investigators told reporters
that the murder was a contract killing carried out by professionals who had
most likely mapped out Sá’s daily routine, news reports said. Police considered
Sá’s blog reporting as the likely motive for the murder, the reports said. José
Sarney, president of the Brazilian Senate and whose family owns O
Estado do Maranhão
the crime “an attack on democracy,” news reports said.

In the months following the attack,
authorities arrested at
least nine suspects who they said were accomplices and plotters and were linked
to a loan shark ring that Sá had tied to a local murder in his blog, according
to press reports. The
suspects included local businessman Gláucio Alencar, accused of being the
leader of the ring and of ordering Sá’s murder, and a deputy chief of police,
both of whom denied the charges, according to news reports.

Suspect Jhonatan de Sousa Silva told police he was
the gunman and had been hired by the other defendants. Sousa said the defendants
were angered by Sá’s reporting on their alleged loan-sharking, extortion, and
embezzlement practices, according to news reports. In
February 2014, Sousa was sentenced to 25 years and three months in jail,
according to news reports.
Marcos Bruno Oliveira, who claimed he was innocent, was sentenced to 18 years
and three months on charges of transporting Sousa to and from the crime.
Alencar and the police officer, as well as the other remaining suspects,
currently await trial, according to news reports.

Sá is survived by his wife, who was pregnant, and an
8-year-old daughter.