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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Two journalists killed in Brazil and Colombia; 3 journalists murdered in northeastern Brazil during Nov. 2015



As the end of the year nears, two more journalists were killed in Brazil and Colombia in the past week.

Journalist Orislandio Timoteo Araújo, also known as Roberto Lano, was killed in Maranhão state in Brazil on Nov. 21. (Photo taken from Lano's blog)

Brazilian blogger and radio reporter Orislandio Timoteo Araújo was shot on Nov. 21 while riding on a motorcycle with his wife in Buruticupu, Maranhão state. He is the third journalist killed in northeastern Brazil this month.

The journalist was known as Roberto Lano and wrote a blog of the same name, according to the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). In his final blog post, he wrote about a complaint against the mayor of Buriticupu, according to UOL.

The IAPA said the 37-year-old also worked on political campaigns and promoted local events.

In Colombia, hitmen fatally shot Colombian journalist Dorancé Herrera on Nov. 23 in Caucasia, Bajo Cauca Antioquia department.

Herrera, 28, and a friend were in the journalist’s sister’s home when two men shot them to death, according to the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP for its acronym in Spanish).

Herrera had sporadically published political opinion articles in newspapers, but also worked as a social and political leader, according to FLIP. The organization reported that Herrera wrote in a column in Bajo Cauca Hoy that he had received threats for his role working in a settlement process.

According to Noticias RCN, several journalists in Caucasia have been threatened and have protection measures.

Journalist Dorancé Herrera was killed in Colombia on Nov. 23. (Photo from Twitter account of BluRadio Medellín)

FLIP acknowledged that there is no clear motive in the murder, but said it continues to document the case and call on authorities to investigate the murder.

The IAPA condemned the murders of Araújo and Herrera and called on thorough investigations of the crimes in order to determine whether the killings were linked to their work as journalists. 

Araújo is the seventh journalist to be killed in Brazil this year.

On Nov. 10, community radio journalist Israel Gonçalvez Silva was killed in Lagoa de Itaenga in Pernambuco. Three days later, 30-year-old blogger Ítalo Eduardo Diniz Barros was killed after two men on a motorcycle shot him in Maranhão state. Like Araújo’s murder, the killings of these two journalists also took place in northeastern Brazil.

Herrera is the fourth journalist killed in Colombia in 2015.

His murder comes on the heels of the Sept. 10 killing of 25-year-old Colombia journalist Flor Alba Núñez Vargas in Pitalito, Huila department. She was shot upon entering the radio station where she worked. 



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