Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism

Rising violence against journalists in Brazil alarms free-press advocates

Free-press organizations denounced the increase of violence against journalists in Brazil after a radio manager and a journalist were shot at their radio station on Oct. 12.

Claudio Moleiro de Souza was killed and Alberto Dutra Duran was wounded by a shot in the arm by a gunman who got inside the building of Radio Meridional, a regional radio located in Northwestern Rodonia’s state.

The police rejected the robbery as a possible motive and said that Moleiro de Souza was the target of the attack, without giving more details, reported the International Press Institute (IPI).

Souza was the sixth journalist to be killed in Brazil since the start of 2013. IPI pointed out that Brazil is not only the Latin America’s deadliest country for journalists, but also the seventh deadliest country globally so far in 2013.

“This is one of the most violent years for the press in this country,” the president of the Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters (ABERT) Daniel Slaviero said.

ABERT reported that aggressions against journalists or vandalism of media property had risen by 166 percent in the past year as compared to the period spanning October 2011 to October 2012.

IPI denounced the lack of police’s effectiveness during investigations related to journalists, which fail to determine whether or not attacks on journalists are motivated by their profession or by other reasons.

“The problem is that when one journalist is killed because of his profession, he can damage the image of the country, so they try to say it was linked to personal affairs or problems of money,” Reporters Without Borders America’s researcher Benoit Herieu told French radio RFI, reacting to Moleiro de Souza’s slaying.

“The arrest of the gunman would be important but we have to know the motive, and the problem is that in many cases, they can arrest gunmen but who charged the gunman to kill the journalist?” asked Herieu.

By Elian Peltier. 

Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism.
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