Four gunmen on two motorcycles shot veteran radio host Amorim Filho, better known as Jota Cândido, when he arrived at work around 7 a.m. in the city of Carpina, in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, according to local media. The gunmen hit Cândido with 20 bullets, officials and news reports said.
Cândido, who devoted part of his program on Rádio Alternativa to denouncing local corruption, was also serving his second term as a city councilman. A previous attempt on his life had been made on May 21, 2005, according to local newspaper Diario do Pernambuco.
Cândido was a critic of the then Carpina mayor, who had been accused of nepotism. Cândido criticized the practice on his show and presented a bill banning public officials from hiring relatives days before he was killed, news reports said.
On December 17, 2015, four men were sentenced for his murder. Military police officer André Luiz de Carvalho was sentenced to 21 years, and his colleagues Edilson Soares Rodrigues and Tairone César da Silva Pereira were given 19 years, according to news reports. Jorge José da Silva, who lent them his motorcycle, was sentenced to 14 years, reports added. Public prosecutor Roberto Brayner told CPJ in February 2016 that all four had been released while they appeal the sentence.
“We know that the motivations were two-fold,” Brayner told CPJ. “[Cândido] denounced nepotism and financial irregularities. He was a journalist and a city councilman and he bothered these people as both a journalist and an opposition politician.”
Brayner told CPJ the four men had been offered plea bargains in an attempt to find the mastermind behind the killing but that all four refused the offer.