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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Radio host known for speaking out against crime shot dead in Brazil



A radio reporter known for his crime reporting was shot dead in the city of Jaguaribe, Ceará on Friday, Feb. 22, according to the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo. He was the second journalist killed in Brazil this year. The first killed also worked for a radio station in a community north of Rio de Janeiro.

Mafaldo Bezerra Gois, 51 years old, was killed on his way to Rádio Jaguaribe FM, where he hosted a daily police radio show. Two gunmen on a motorcycle shot Gois, who was hit five times, twice in the head and three times in the chest, according to G1. The journalist told police that he had received threats just days before.

Police believe that the killing was motivated by Gois' crime reporting. "He died because of his profession. He provoked the ire of many people," a police spokesperson told the newspaper Folha de São Paulo.

On Sunday, Feb. 24, police announced that they had identified the two shooters and suspected that a drug trafficker who is currently serving time in Fortaleza but had operations in Jaguaribe ordered the killing, reported the website Iguatu Notícias.

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the killing and insisted authorities bring those responsible to justice and reduce the violence against journalists in the country. "As a wave of lethal violence spreads throughout Brazil, the administration of President Dilma Rousseff must take decisive action to ensure that all journalists can work without fear of intimidation," said Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas, according to the organization's website.

Reporters Without Borders recently named Brazil the fifth most dangerous country in the world for journalists in 2012. Last year, five journalists were killed in the country for reasons related to their profession, while others, like investigative reporter Mauro KönigAndré Caramante, reporter for Folha de São Paulo, fled Brazil after receiving threats.



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