|IAPA protests fifth death of journalist this year in Brazil|
Miami (July 6, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed concern at the killing of sports reporter Valério Luiz de Oliveira in Brazil, the fifth such incident in the South American country so far this year, and urged the authorities to promptly solve the crime and bring those responsible to justice.
De Oliveira, 49, was killed yesterday afternoon outside the building of Rádio Jornal 820 AM, in the city of Goiânia, in Goiás state. A person riding a motorcycle shot six times at de Oliveira, who died before receiving medical attention, an eye-witness reported.
The chairman of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, expressed anger at the “wave of violence shaking the Brazilian press” and called on the authorities “to promptly solve this crime and bring those responsible to justice.” Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, added that what is needed is for the Brazilian authorities to put an end to the climate of impunity surrounding crimes against journalists, “the only deterrent to halt the violence.”
De Oliveira was the son of another well-known local sports reporter, Mané de Oliveira, and according to his colleagues he had received death threats in recent weeks.
However, the news director of the radio station, Cassium Zaidem, said that he was unaware of such threats and while he acknowledged that many people disagreed with his opinions about soccer he questioned whether that would incite to murder. The radio station Jornal 820 AM is owned by Federal Congressman Jovair Arantes, a candidate for mayor of Goiânia, the state capital.
So far this year another four journalists have been killed in Brazil – Décio Sá in São Luis, Maranhão; Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues (known as Paulo Rocaro) in Ponta Pará, Mato Grosso do Sul; Mário Randolfo Marques Lopes in Vassouras, Rio de Janeiro, and Laécio de Souza in Simões Filho, Bahia.
Also killed this year because of their work were six journalists in Mexico, one in Haiti and another in Honduras.
Oliveira died just as Brazil’s Congress is holding public hearings to proposals to federalize crimes against journalists.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. The IAPA Impunity Project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has the mission of combating violence against journalists and lessening the impunity surrounding the majority of such crimes. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org; http://www.impunidad.com.