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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Brazilian editor shot to death on border with Paraguay



Brazilian journalist Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues was shot to death during an attack the night of Sunday, Feb. 12, in Ponta Porã in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul on the border with Paraguay, reported Última Hora. Police suspect it was a hired killing.

This is the second Brazilian journalist killed in less than a week and the third in 2012. The country has experienced increasing violence against the press and, as a result, Brazil dropped 41 places on the global press freedom index from Reporters Without Borders.

Known as Paulo Rocaro, the journalist was the editor in chief of the newspaper Jornal da Praça and of the site Merco Sul News. He was in his car when he was shot by two gunmen on a motorcycle, according to the news portal Terra. Rocaro was shot five times and died in a hospital the morning of Monday, Feb. 13.

Preliminary evidence suggests the killing was politically motivated, although no other motives were ruled out. Police asked for the video images of security cameras near the location of the crime.

The Journalists Union of Mato Grosso do Sul lamented the death of the journalist and called for a swift investigation.

The Union of Professional Journalists of Grande Dourados also mourned the journalist, highlighting the possibility that the killing was related to Rocaro's work as a journalist. "In a report from the International Federation of Journalists, during 2011 106 journalists (six of them Brazilian) were killed or died violently; in 2010 there were 94. We hope that the violence against the journalist Paulo Rocaro does not become just one more number on the list of 2012," the union said in a statement.



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