Borges, owner of the monthly publication Independente, was murdered by a police officer in Rio Verde, in the central Brazilian state of Goias. He was shot four times at point-blank range at his home and died on the way to the hospital. According to his wife, who witnessed the murder, he had received death threats after his new and very controversial paper reported on alleged human rights abuses committed by city officials, including the local police.
The police officer, Gláucio dos Reis Santana, confessed to the killing, claimed it was in self-defense, and surrendered to the police a few days after the crime. In the last edition of his paper, Borges had denounced the regional police chief, who is a close friend of dos Reis. Local sources told CPJ that the regional police chief’s wife accompanied dos Reis when he murdered Borges. At year’s end, dos Reis and the police chief’s wife were free on bail awaiting trial, but the chief has not been charged in connection with the murder. Instead, he and several other officers who had been criticized in Borges’ articles were transferred to another city.