Edinaldo Filgueira

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Edinaldo Filgueira was leaving his office at night when he was shot six times and killed by three unidentified men on a motorcycle, according to the Brazilian press. He died at the scene.

Filgueira, 36, was the founder and director of the local newspaper Jornal o Serrano. He was also the regional director of the ruling Workers Party (PT) and wrote a blog in which he criticized political adversaries. According to local press reports, Filgueira had recently published a critical poll on the performance of the local government on his blog, after which he received death threats.

On July 2, a joint force of federal and local police arrested several suspects who they said belonged to a gang of contract killers. They also seized weapons and large quantities of ammunition in the arrests. Federal police chief Marcelo Mosele confirmed to CPJ at the time that they had ruled out other possibilities and were exclusively focusing on Filgueira's journalistic work as the motive for the crime.

On December 5, 2013, seven men were convicted of planning and participating in the crime, including the gunman, and received sentences ranging from 19 to 23 years in prison, according to news reports. One of the men, who is considered a fugitive, was sentenced in absentia. Josivan Bibiano, who was mayor of Serro do Mel at the time of Filgueira's death, was charged with being the mastermind of the crime but, after being jailed twice, was released, according to news reports. There has been no movement in his case since. A blog set up in remembrance of Filguiera reported that Bibiano is the cousin of three of the convicted men.

The prosecutor in the case said Filguiera was killed because he had been denouncing corruption in the city government.

The day after the conviction, Marcos José de Oliveira Ferreira, a cousin of Filguiera's who had traveled to Serro do Mel from Sao Paulo to participate in the sentencing hearing, was murdered by unidentified gunmen. No motive has been established but authorities have not ruled out a possible tie to the blogger's case, according to news reports.

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