Araujo, a Brazilian blogger known locally as Roberto Lano, was shot dead while riding his motorcycle in Buriticupu, a town in the northern state of Maranhão, according to local press reports.
Araujo, who was also a nightclub owner, DJ, and events promoter, was in Buriticupu’s central square with his wife when an assailant, also on a motorcycle, shot him and then drove away, according to news reports that cited a police account of the killing.
Paulo Coelho, an officer involved in the investigation, described the killer to the daily Folha de S.Paulo as “professional.” Coelho said, “He got off his motorbike, switched it off, shot him without blinking, and then slowly rode off.”
A police officer in Buriticupu, who would give his name only as Diogo, told CPJ in a phone call that police were investigating, and declined to provide further details. The state’s security secretariat told CPJ it was investigating the case.
Araujo worked for the town’s previous mayor, organizing events and political rallies, the current mayor, José Gomes Rodrigues, told CPJ.
According to posts viewed by CPJ, Araujo used his blog to write about local and state politics. He updated it a couple times each month between February and November. In his last post, on November 18, Araujo was critical of Gomes. Under a photograph of a makeshift bridge recently financed by the mayor, Araujo described the bridge as “a great symbol of the mismanagement of a government that has no commitment to the public.”
The mayor told CPJ in a phone call that he knew Araujo, but had never seen the blog. He added that he only learned about the bridge post on the day CPJ contacted him.