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

Brazilian news anchor gunned down, fourth journalist killed in five weeks

4 March 2014

A Brazilian journalist and television director was shot and killed Feb. 27 in the city of Teixeira de Freitas, about 550 miles (900 km) north of Rio de Janeiro.

Geolino Lopes Xavier, 44, an anchor and co-manager for Brazil’s N3 news television. Lopes had just dropped off a co-worder at her home in the city, in the northeastern coastal state of Bahia, when two men shot him from their vehicle, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas reported, citing a local news account. Police have not yet identified any suspects or motives.

Lopes had been in broadcast journalism since 1989 was currently the host and co-director of the news show A Tarde.

“We deplore the dangers to which Brazilian journalists are exposed and we urge the authorities to actively examine the possibility that Lopes’ murder was linked to his work,” said Camille Soulier, head of the Americas desk at Reporters Without Borders. “We also hope concrete measures will be taken to protect journalists, not only those covering protests but also all other journalists in all circumstances.”

Three other journalists have been killed in Brazil this year. Lopes’ killing comes less than a month after Pedro Palma, owner of the Panorama Regional newspaper was shot dead near Rio De Janeiro on Feb. 13.

Cameraman Santiago Andrade died of injuries inflicted while covering a clash between the Brazilian military and protesters Feb. 6. On Feb. 16, journalist José Lacerda da Silva was killed in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte.

In 2013, Brazil was the deadliest country in Latin America for journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders. Five journalists were killed in the country last year and there have been no convictions in any of those cases.

The Brazilian government is currently considering the creation of an Observatory for the Protection of Journalists, as proposed by Human Rights Minister Maria da Rosário.


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