By Kaitlyn Degnan
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
BRASÍLIA, Brazil — Two gunmen entered the studio of Radio Liberdade FM in Camocin, Brazil where Gleydson Carvhalo was hosting his radio show live on the air and shot him 3-5 times. He was shot during a musical interlude. They had subdued the receptionist and ordered another in the room under the table. Carvhalo died on the way to the hospital.
The gunman and an accomplice fled the station on motorcycle. Police say that they have identified the gunman and are searching for him in the surrounding area. Two other people have been arrested in connection with the murder.
Carvhalo was known for criticizing the government on his show and on social media. He gained fame for exposing corruption in the local government.
He is the fourth journalist to have been killed in Brazil this year, and the 16th killed since 2011. Friends say that Carvhalo had received death threats on air for his opinions in the past.
These killings of journalists are often marked by extreme brutality – a Brazilian journalist killed in May was found decapitated. Another was found shortly after with an eye gouged out.
Most of the killings have taken place in smaller towns and villages in Brazil – away from the bigger cities and away from the mainstream media.
Multiple organizations have spoken out against the attacks. Maria Laura Canineu, Human Rights Watch Director for Brazil said that “Attacks against journalists for their work threaten freedom of expression and the very fabric of democracy. It is crucial for authorities to ensure full accountability for the killing of journalists to guarantee that reporters in Brazil can work without fearing for their lives.”
The National Association of Newspapers has called Brazil a “climate of impunity”. The senior Americas program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists has called on the Brazilian government to take measures to prevent this kind of violence. Particularly, the Committee has proposed legislation that would make such crimes fall under federal jurisdiction.
Brazil is ranked as number 11 on the Committee’s 2014 Global Impunity Index. According to the Committee, 65% of journalists murdered in Brazil since 2011 were reporting on corruption. Government officials are suspected in 52% of cases.
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