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
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.