Impunity Brazil

WHEREAS a suspect has been identified as the shooter who killed businessman José Rubem Pontes de Souza, president and editor of the newspaper Entre-Rios, on October 30, 2010 in Paraíba do Sul, Rio de Janeiro state; his arrest will depend on the results of an expert examination of a weapon; there is still no confirmation that the crime was motivated by his professional work in journalism; WHEREAS the Special Action Group Against Organized Crime (GAECO) of Bauru concluded that there was no participation by organized crime in the murder of Wanderley dos Reis, which occurred on October 16, 2010 in Ibitinga, São Paulo, and the investigations are continuing in Ibitinga; it is possible that the crime is related to Reis’ journalistic work with the newspaper Popular News; WHEREAS the two people accused of the crime against radio reporter Francisco Gomes de Medeiros (“F. Gomes”), killed on October 18, 2010 in the city of Caicó, Rio Grande do Norte, are in prison awaiting trial; one of them has appealed the indictment. WHEREAS in accordance with the recommendation made in the friendly agreement between the Brazilian government and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights in regard to the murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira, killed in January 1998 in Itabuna, Bahia, the prosecutor of Itabuna, Cinthia Portela, is going to assess the possibility of reopening the case to identify the instigators of the crime, but the case did come to her until October 2011, due to a change in prosecutors in the district; WHEREAS no one has yet been punished for the murder of radio reporter Ronaldo Santana de Araújo on October 9, 1997 in Eunápolis, Bahia, and those accused of the crime, including the former mayor of Eunápolis, Paulo Dapé, and his employees Maria José Ferreira Souza (“Maria Sindoiá”), Waldemir Batista de Oliveira (“Dudu”) and Antônio Oliveira Santos (“Toninho da Caixa”), filed an appeal to delay the progress of the case; WHEREAS those accused of the murders of Ronaldo Santana de Araújo on October 9, 1997, and of journalist Aristeu Guida da Silva, killed on May 12, 1995 in São Fidélis, Rio de Janeiro, are at large; WHEREAS the instigators have not been identified in the murders of reporters Luiz Otávio Monteiro in Manaus, Amazonas on December 29, 1988; Edgar Lopes de Faria, on October 29, 1997 in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul; José Carlos Mesquita, on March 10, 1998 in Ouro Preto do Oeste, Rondônia; and Mário Coelho de Almeida Filho, on August 16, 2001 in Magé, Rio de Janeiro; nor have the cases been solved of Nivanildo Barbosa Lima, found dead at the dam in Paulo Afonso, Bahia on July 22, 1995; and the disappearance of Ivan Rocha on April 22, 1991 in Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia; WHEREAS the trial has not yet been scheduled of João Arcanjo Ribeiro, accused of instigating the crime against businessman Domingos Sávio Brandão de Lima, owner of the newspaper Folha do Estado and radio station Cidade de Cuiabá FM, killed on September 30, 2002, even after Justice Laurita Vaz of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) ordered immediate action on the criminal case so that it may be taken before a jury of the people; WHEREAS two people who had been convicted for the murder of broadcaster Samuel Román, killed in Coronel Sapucaia, Mato Grosso do Sul on April 20, 2004, have fled, including former mayor Eurico Mariano, and there is information that they may be in Paraguay; a third accused has been located in Paraguay but has not yet been extradited to Brazil; WHEREAS time gone by and faults in the investigation make it difficult to identify the murderers of Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva, killed on August 29, 1995 in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, although work is continuing in the Homicide Section of the police in Niterói/São Gonçalo; WHEREAS the prosecutor who was conducting the case of the murder of social columnist Maria Nilce Magalhães on July 5, 1989 in Vitória, Espírito Santo, is no longer on the case, and it has not yet been assigned to another prosecutor; WHEREAS there has been no date set for the trial of Nilson Osterne Maia and Otaviano de Lima, accused of the murder of radio reporter Nicanor Linhares Batista on June 30, 2003; the indictment of appeals judge José Maria Lucena as one of the instigators of the crime is to be decided upon in a special forum; former mayor Maria Arivan de Holanda Lucena, the judge’s wife, is answering to a case in the courts of Limoeiro do Norte as co-instigator of the crime; WHEREAS police officer Valnei Bertoni is awaiting trial for the murder of journalist Luiz Carlos Barbon Filho on May 5, 2007 in Porto Ferreira; the trial has been moved to the capital of São Paulo state; WHEREAS those accused of the murder of radio reporter Jorge Vieira da Costa, killed in March 2001 in Timon, Maranhão, were able to freeze the case in the courts; WHEREAS in the next few days the trial should begin on a charge against eight individuals for the murder of broadcaster Jorge Lourenço dos Santos, killed on July 11, 2004 in Santana do Ipanema, Alagoas; the case was transferred to the Court of Justice of Alagoas state because among the accused is the former mayor of the city; WHEREAS the proposal for a constitutional amendment (PEC), No. 15 of 2010, which determines the competency of federal judges to handle and judge crimes against journalists as they conduct their work, and Senate Bill no. 167 of 2010, which changes the Penal Code, assuring priority in trying cases related to the murder of journalists due to their professional, work are in the Senate Constitution and Justice Committee and await the opinion of the rapporteur, senator Vital do Rêgo. WHEREAS in April 2011 Federal Deputy Protógenes Pinheiro de Queiroz submitted Bill No. 1078 that changes Law No. 10,446 of May 8, 2002, to deal with the participation of the Federal Police in the investigation of crimes in which there has been an omission or inefficiency on the part of competent authorities in crimes against the work of journalists; WHEREAS impunity and the lack of efficient protection programs inhibit witnesses; WHEREAS the instigators of crimes are rarely arrested; just the intermediaries or shooters; WHEREAS there is very strong pressure on prosecutors and police charged with investigating crimes against journalists and broadcasters, especially in cities in the interior; WHEREAS the turnover of judges and prosecutors interrupts or delays the processing of cases; WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states that: “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly.” THE 67 GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES To compliment Justice Luiz Fux and other member of the First Group of the Federal Supreme Court who denied Claudio Orlando do Nascimento, convicted for the murder of journalist Tim Lopes in 2002, his petition for release from prison for family visits; they considered the brutality and seriousness of the crime and the possibility of his flight, as has occurred in other cases benefitted by the regimen of progression. To request of Justice Laurita Vaz, charged with the analysis of the indictment against the appeals judge accused of the crime against radio reporter Nicanor Linhares Batista, that the case against this suspect be delayed no longer; To ask authorities to make all efforts to reopen investigations and punish the instigators of the murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira in January 1998, in accordance with the friendly agreement between the Brazilian government and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights To solicit special efforts and dedication so that the oldest still unpunished crimes against broadcasters and journalists of Brazil can be elucidated in an urgent and exemplary manner To ask that arguments be considered as outlined in the Proposal for a Constitutional Amendment (PEC No. 15 of 2010) and in Senate Bill No. 167 of 2010, as well as Law no. 1078 of Federal Deputy Protógenes Pinheiro de Queiroz on the federalization of crimes against journalists.