Impunity / Brazil

WHEREAS the civil police and the Prosecutor’s Office already have the names of those suspected of the murder of radio journalist Valério Luiz Oliveira on June 5, 2012, but they have preferred not to divulge the information yet in order not to interfere with the investigations, that the crime may be related to criticisms he made as a sports commentator. WHEREAS in September 2012 the Prosecutor’s Office of Maranhão state named twelve people accused of participating in the murder of journalist and blogger Décio Sá which happened on April 23, 2012 in São Luís, capital of the state, it falls to the First Court of the Jury to analyze the case and decide whether or not to indict the accused, thus initiating the process that will lead to their trial WHEREAS on February 12, 2012, journalist Paulo Roberto Cardoso Rodrigues, known as Paulo Rocaro, was killed by at least five shots in Ponta Porã in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, and the crime has still not been solved WHEREAS the murder of radio journalist Valderlei Canuto Leandro, which happened on September 1, 2011 in Tabatinga, Amazonas remains unpunished, and the suspect is the former mayor of the city WHEREAS the former mayor of Serra do Mel, Josivan Bibiano de Azevedo, indicted as mastermind of the murder of journalist Edinaldo Figueira, which occurred on June 15, 2011 in Serra do Mel, Rio Grande do Norte state, was arrested but he obtained habeas corpus release, and another eight persons accused of the crime are awaiting trial WHEREAS the police investigation has been completed and three persons are under indictment for the murder of radio reporter and television host Luciano Leitão Pedrosa on April 9, 2011 in Vitória de Santo Antão, Pernambuco state. WHEREAS on August 23, 2012 former mayor Arivan Lucena was acquitted of the charge of ordering the murder of radio journalist Nicanor Linhares Batista on June 30, 2003 in Limoeiro do Norte, Ceará, and ran again for mayor of the city in the elections of October 7, 2012; the Prosecutor’s Office appealed the decision to acquit but it has not yet been adjudicated; Nilson Osterne Maia was murdered in jail five days after being convicted for his participation in the crime against Batista; the case against appeals judge José Maria Lucena was sent to the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) since he has privileged jurisdiction and is being kept secret by Justice; he was able to put off receipt of the decision, since the accused José Vanderley dos Santos Nogueira has still not been tried WHEREAS former mayor Eurico Mariano and Alfredo Rui Dias Arevalos remain at large; they were convicted of murdering radio journalist Samuel Román, killed in Coronel Sapucaia, Mato Grosso do Sul state on April 20, 2004; there is a suspicion that they are in Paraguay WHEREAS the trial date has not been set for João Francisco dos Santos and Lailson Lopes, accused of murdering radio journalist Francisco Gomes de Medeiros, known as F. Gomes, which happened on October 18, 2010 in Caicó, Rio Grande do Norte; another four persons were accused of having participated in the crime and the case against them is in the stage of final allegations WHEREAS the STJ denied all appeals and extenuating circumstances that the former mayor of Eunápolis, Bahia, Paulo Ernesto Ribeiro da Silva, known as Paulo Dapé, had brought against his sentence for the murder of radio journalist Ronaldo Santana de Araujo that happened on October 9, 1997 in Eunápolis; although Dapé could not run, his wife became a candidate for mayor of Eunápolis in the elections of October 17, 2012, which means that he continues to have political strength and influence in the municipality; Dapé and former city employees Maria José Ferreira Souza, Waldemir Batista de Oliveira and Antônio Oliveira Santos, accused of the crime, have not yet been tried and the only person convicted for the murder, shooter Paulo Sérgio de Lima, fled shortly after having received the benefit of progression from closed to semi-open regimen WHEREAS on September 30 ten years had passed since the death of entrepreneur Domingos Sávio Brandão de Lima, owner of the newspaper Folha do Estado and radio station Cidade de Cuiabá FM, killed in 2002, and by October 3, 2012 João Arcanjo Ribeiro has still not been tried, accused as the instigator of the crime; he has made an appeal to put off trial WHEREAS this year ten years have passed since the murder of journalist Tim Lopes of TV Globo, killed by drug traffickers in June, 2002 in Rio de Janeiro WHEREAS there have been no advances in the identification of the murderers of Wanderley dos Reis which occurred on October 16, 2010 in Ibitinga, São Paulo, and the crime may be related to his activity on the newspaper Popular News; friends and politicians complain of the slowness of the investigations. WHEREAS the murderers 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; and the cases of journalist Nivanildo Barbosa Lima, found dead in the Paulo Afonso dam in Bahia, on July 22, 1995; and Ivan Rocha, who disappeared on April 22, 1991 in Teixeira de Freitas in Bahia WHEREAS on June 12, 2012 police officer Valnei Bertoni was acquitted for lack of evidence; he had been accused of participating in the murder of journalist Luiz Carlos Barbon Filho on May 5, 2007 in the city of Porto Ferreira, São Paulo, but new information surfaced that led to the reopening of the case by the Prosecutor’s Office of Porto Ferreira to identify those involved in the crime WHEREAS efforts are continuing to investigate and identify the instigators of the murder of radio journalist Jorge Lourenço dos Santos, killed on July 11, 2004 in Santana do Ipanema, Alagoas WHEREAS in 2009 the Brazilian government signed a friendly accord with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that contemplates the reopening of the case of murder of journalist Manoel Leal de Oliveira on January 14, 1998 in Itabuna, Bahia, for the purpose of identifying and punishing those who ordered the crime, which has not been done even today, Mozart Brasil, the only one convicted of the crime, submitted new denunciations in the case which were sent by the IAPA to the Secretariat for Human Rights of the Office of the President of the Republic in February 2012, since the new prosecutor assigned to the district of Itabuna could not be located, since then the Special Secretariat for Human Rights of the Office of the President of the Republic has not handed documents over to the prosecutor in Itabuna. WHEREAS in July 2012 former military policeman César Narcizo da Silva was sentenced to nineteen years in prison for the murder of social columnist Maria Nilce dos Santos Magalhães on July 5, 1989 in Vitória in Espírito Santo state; another person accused of the crime, police officer Romualdo Eustáquio da Luz Faria, had his case separated because his attorneys alleged that he suffers from insanity and was not found in time to conduct an investigation of this fact; Faria has his trial set for November 6, 2012 WHEREAS the investigation into the murder of Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva on August 29, 1995 in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro, was sent to another prosecutor, the 9th Prosecutor’s Office for Criminal Investigation, created in February 2012 and the new Prosecutor in charge has not had time to analyze the investigation; the crime remains unsolved WHEREAS a proposed constitutional amendment, no. 15 of 2010, is in the Committee on the Constitution and Justice of the Federal Senate; that amendment sets the competence of federal judges to accept and judge crimes carried out against journalists when engaged in their professional work, and a bill of law, Senate No. 167 of 2010 which alters the Penal Code to assure priority of judgment in cases related to the murder of journalists due to their profession WHEREAS bill no. 1078/2011 also contemplates the participation of the Federal Police in the investigation of crimes in which there are omissions or inefficiencies of competent authorities in crimes against journalistic activities WHEREAS in 2012 alone there have been at least five cases of journalists murdered due to revelations made on their radio or television programs, in blogs or newspapers, and innumerable cases of aggression and physical and verbal threats WHEREAS principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec says 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 68th IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES To reiterate that the Brazilian government must meet the terms of the accord signed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and reopen investigations in the case of Manoel Leal de Oliveira to identify and punish the instigators of the crime, and take into consideration denunciations made in December 2011 by Mozart Brasil, who was convicted of the crime To solicit that access to public information be assured to permit greater control of cases and guarantee the right to information To request measures that would inhibit aggression and censorship and increase the safety of communication professionals in the exercise of their profession To solicit the adoption of more rigorous criteria in granting the benefit of progression from a closed to a semi-open regime, to prevent prison escapes To solicit immediate and efficient implementation of an integrated system of security information to facilitate the arrest of escapees within Brazil and to request that the governments of Brazil and Paraguay intensify agreements to capture and extradite escapees in the two countries Solicit the improvement of witness-protection programs Request state governments to provide dignified working conditions for investigators, police chiefs, prosecutors and judges, especially outside of the capital cities To solicit the identification and punishment of the masterminds of crimes, and not just those who carry them out and intermediaries Solicit urgent passage of laws to federalize crimes committed against journalists while in the exercise of their profession in order to put an end to impunity Solicit the immediate implementation of measures to identify, inhibit, and punish cases of aggression and violence against communication professionals, such as the Press Observatory suggested by Justice Maria do Rosário in May 2012, with the participation of society and of journalistic organizations and those involved in human rights.