Romário Barros

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

On June 18, 2019, at about 7 p.m., a masked man shot Romário Barros, owner and reporter at local news website Lei Seca Maricá, at least three times before getting into a car and driving away, according to Brazilian daily O Globo. Barros died at the scene, according to O Globo.

None of Barros’ belongings were taken, and a report by local news outlet O Dia said that police believe the killing was ordered.

On June 19, the Rio de Janeiro state police issued a statement, reviewed by CPJ, saying they had opened an investigation into the killing. The police did not reply to additional phone calls and questions emailed by CPJ.

The 31-year-old reporter founded Lei Seca Maricá in 2010, said Paulo de Almeida Celestino, president of the Maricá Press Association, of which Barros was a founding member. The site covers local crime, transportation, culture, and political news.

In March 2022, police concluded their investigation into the journalist’s death, and stated that members of militia operating in the region were involved in the killing, according to press reports. Authorities did not disclose the motive for the killing. 

The investigation was sent to the judiciary and was being handled by the Rio de Janeiro Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2022.