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Two unidentified men on a motorcycle shot and killed a Brazilian journalist in the municipality of Ipatinga in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais on March 8, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported.

The journalist, Rodrigo Neto, was the host of “Plantão Policial” (Police Shift) on Radio Vanguardia and doubled as a press aide for the local mayor. He had also just started working as a reporter at the local daily Jornal Vale do Aço the week before he was shot, said Fernando Benedito Jr., a journalist in Ipatinga and a friend of Neto. Two unidentified gunmen shot Neto while getting into his car after a local barbeque, the Jornal Vale do Aço reported.

Benedito Jr. also told CPJ that Neto had frequently reported on police corruption throughout his journalistic career and that he had been receiving threats since covering stories that implicated police in local murder cases.

Minas Gerais regional newspaper G1 reported that local authorities would be looking through Neto’s work to determine whether it had any connection with his murder.

Neto is the second journalist murdered in Brazil in the last two weeks. Mafaldo Bezerra Goes, a radio host from northeast Brazil who denounced crime in the city of Jaguaribe, was also shot dead Feb. 22.

According to CPJ, 12 journalists have been murdered in Brazil since 2011 and a recent spike in violence towards journalists has made the South American country one of the most dangerous places for them to work leading up to the 2014 World Cup.

 

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