Mario Randolfo Marques Lopes

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

The bodies of Randolfo and his companion, Maria Aparecida
Guimarães, were found in the city of Barra do Piraí in Rio de Janeiro state.
Both had been abducted from Randolfo’s home the night before and had been shot
to death early that morning, news reports said.

Randolfo, 50, editor-in-chief of the news website Vassouras na Net, had
frequently accused local officials of corruption and had reported on an alleged
network of assassins run by a former police chief, according to news reports
and the journalist’s website. His most recent article accused local judges and
courts of being corrupt and too powerful, CPJ research shows.

The journalist was also attacked in 2011, according to news
reports. In July 2011, an unidentified gunman entered the Vassouras na Net
newsroom, in the city of Vassouras, and shot
him five times in the head, which left him in a coma for three days, Randolfo reported on
his website. He survived and, for his safety, decided to move to Barra do
Piraí, but did not stop working on his website.

In an interview
posted on his website, Randolfo said he believed he was targeted in 2011 in
retaliation for his reporting on irregularities in the investigation of a local
murder. No one was charged or arrested for the attack, news reports said.

News reports
said authorities were investigating a possible political motive in the 2012
murder. Police chief José Mário Salomão de Omena told reporters,
“He created such a large volume of enemies that it is even difficult to know
where to start.”