Da Rosa, owner and editor of the independent station Radio del Centro, was murdered by former local official Carmelo Nery Colombo, who shot the journalist and then turned the weapon on himself.
Radio del Centro broadcasts from Baltasar Brum, an isolated village in the northern municipality of Artigas. Colombo served as secretary of the Baltasar Brum administrative board in 1998-1999 and was running for re-election at the time of the murder.
Da Rosa’s widow, Euda Fernández Machado, told CPJ that Colombo was angered by Da Rosa’s suggestion, in a February 23 broadcast, that he was unfit to run for public office. A supermarket owner with heavy debts, Colombo was being investigated for excessive spending during his previous stint as secretary of the administrative board.
Immediately after the February 23 broadcast, Colombo called Da Rosa and demanded airtime to defend himself, Fernández said. Da Rosa invited him to the studio for a radio appearance at noon on February 24. No one else was present when Colombo arrived. Colombo shot Da Rosa in the heart and then shot himself in the right temple. Da Rosa’s face was bruised, Fernández said, indicating a scuffle might have taken place before the shooting.
On March 8, CPJ published an alert about Da Rosa’s murder.